February 12th saw the release of the band The Record Company’s debut album “Give it back to you.”  The L.A. trio’s raunchy and original new album pays homage to the likes of some of the best southern groove blues acts of the 50s and 60s like John Lee Hooker, Jimmy Reed, Slim Harpo, Muddy Waters and Bo Diddley while also maintaining a wonderfully original niche within the genre.  Give it Back to you is a mix of slower and up tempo raw blues/rock lyrically sincere backed by solid and soulful musicianship. 

The album reflects a band that simply is just doing their own thing and delivering a fresh take on old school blues of the 1950’-60’s prime era.  The Record Company’s debut was recorded with secondhand instruments and equipment while recording was done low budget via innovative recording practices yet still the band’s chemistry and love of the music genre shines through.  The band has shared the stage with top acts such as Grace Potter, Buddy Guy, Robert Randolph, Trombone Shorty and Blackberry Smoke.

Listening to the album it is evident that the band’s sphere of influence is rather vast while being all packed into one distinct and original sound that does justice to the influences the band has drawn from since their inception when the trio first started jamming together prior to the band's forming in 2011.  Singer Chris Vos’ sometimes howling vocals are genuinely somber on the album’s slower ballad style tracks while his voice adds soul to the Delta style slide guitar present throughout the album.   “Give it back to you” is no doubt a southern blues style album , still yet the album has a few up-tempo tracks with a touch of boogie that keep the mood from getting too downhearted and tiresome. 

In addition to Chris Vos’ gritty and soulful vocals, the band’s front man also plays guitar, pedal steel, lap steel and harmonica that, matched with steady yet funky bass playing by Alex Stiff and tight and tasteful drumming by Marc Cazorla, produces an overall sound worthy of an old school Mississippi juke joint.   The band already has been labeled by many as a not to miss live music act, now their debut album has brought to listeners a fresh and appealing take on rock and roll.  The band’s musical influences are most evident in their instrumentation and ballads about lonely nights and unloving women.   A few of the songs some might consider tame despite great execution and delivery while “Give it Back to you” has a handful of gems such as the opening “Off the Ground” and the moodier “This Crooked City.”  “On the Move” is complemented by Chris Vos’ notable harmonica work as is the title track “Give it Back To You,”  Vos’ heartland bred voice is rich in texture and works well on slower hazy tracks like “Turn Me Loose” and Rita Mae Young” as well as the more up tempo groove of such tracks as “Got me on the move,” “Off the Ground,” and “Don’t get Me Lonely” which have a hint of punk infused in the overall blues sound of the album which works well with the tortured tone of the lyrics.  “Give it back to you” has the stomp of Zeppelin and the soul of southern blues, rock and R&B.  The band’s music has already racked up over 30 commercial, television and film placements and the release of the new album is likely only to gain and give the band more exposure.  The Record Company is currently has upcoming tour dates with Galactic, JJ Grey and MOFRO and Robert Randolph and the Family Band as well as an individual show March 27 in Nashville presented by WRLT Lightning 100.

Published by Ville Iso-Ahola