Dave Vargo graduated from one of the most prestigious musical institutions in the world. Coming away from Berklee College of Music in Boston with honours is an outstanding accomplishment. Just spend a second looking at the famous graduates of this incredible college and you will see what I mean. This set the artist up as a touring performer and session player who went on to perform with the likes of Whitney Houston and Vonda Shepard, to name a couple, before starting to play solo.
His new single, ’Fault Lines’, has all of his usual sheen. There is an effortlessness about Vargo’s singing that falls neatly into an Americana genre but this would be to underplay the honesty and grittiness of his music that lifts it into the far bigger pool of singer songwriter music that would include the likes of Bruce Springsteen’s current style; good, honest Country rock at its best.
Dave brings all of his experience of years as a session artist to his solo work and this is very evident on ‘Fault Lines’, a song that is like an onion, revealing nuance after nuance with every listen. Typically, gravelly vocals are somehow mixed with contemplation to provide real substance that starts slow but grows in power as the track develops. The balance between acoustic and lead guitar blend perfectly with the almost march like drums, as does the additional vocals on the chorus, which add depth to Vargo’s raspy vocals in the same way Morgane’s voice enhances the vocals of her husband Chris Stapleton.
As the second single from his yet to be released new album, this is a definite move into a slightly edgier, rockier sound from the last album that will manage to please old fans but definitely garner new ones. The two releases are certainly enough to make the release of the long player something to look forward to; there are real shades of the brilliant style of fellow Berklee alumni Joe Walsh and John Mayer in the artistry and lyricism of this new release and I personally can’t wait to hear what else Dave Vargo has up his sleeve.