What the Vegabonds are Made Of


It’s been far too long since I featured The Vegabonds on My Random Jukebox but that is about to change as the guys are back with their brand new album ‘What We’re Made Of’. As a long time fan it’s my duty to continue to support them and spread the word, plus (spoiler alert) it’s a quality album!

If you are not aware of The Vegabonds then let me give you a quick crash course into this awesome band who are made up by Daniel Allen (Lead Vocals), Richard Forehand (Guitars/Vocals), Paul Bruens (Bass), Beau Cooper (Keys/Vocals) and Bryan Harris (Drums). Hailing from Nashville Tennessee, these guys bring a New South Rock twist that is built on musical foundations of a constantly impressive grounded sound with lyrics that are so easy to connect to. They have already released the albums Dear Revolution, Southern Sons and RCA Studio B which have all been featured on this site (click the links to check out my reviews of them).

Before I share my review of the new album I want to share a conversation I had with Daniel from the band. We talked about the new album and a little more, this is what they had to say:

What were your goals when working on ‘What We’re Made Of’ album?

Our goal while working on this album was to keep our band together and put out new material. Since the release of our last project (RCA Studio B) we lost two of our founding members (Alex and Jamie). We had a lot of soul searching to do when those guys quit the band. Ultimately we decided that this is something we all love doing and we wanted to keep moving forward as The Vegabonds. It was a blessing that the first guy we auditioned for a new keyboard player ended up being Beau Cooper, our keyboardist now. Once we had Beau on board with us, we started working on a new album. The title “What We’re Made Of” is a declaration of our journey over the past two years.

During the process of putting this album together, what were the highs and lows?

The highs outweighed the lows by far in the process of this album. We tried our hardest to make the difficulties during this album turn into shining moments on the record. I had a personal trial with the passing of my grandfather last December before we went into the studio in February. The result of that hardship turned into our first single called “Oh My Lord” which tells the story of what I went through during those months. Our song “Where We Used To Go” is about Alex and Jamie leaving the band. This record was a therapy session as well as a work of art for us. The highs on the record started from the help we received from our fans through KickStarter. We went above and beyond our target goal thanks to our awesome fans, and that was the first step to making the album. Then we hooked up with Grammy award winning producer/engineer Tom Tapley to bring our songs to life. It was a pleasure working with Tom in the studio and he made our record sound better than we could have ever imagined!

How did it feel when you heard the final version of the album?

The final version of the album blew us away! We were so excited about the sound and feel of the record. Tom captured the energy and passion we bring to our live show and we couldn’t ask for more!

What is your favourite song from this release and why?

My personal favorite is the introspective song “Take a Ride”. It is a story about going home to the people who love you and have your back no matter what. It’s about family, friends, and chasing dreams in life that make you happy. To me, it sums up “What We’re Made Of”

Now the album is released, what are your future goals for your music?

Our plan is to tour in support of the album, so we can give folks a live rendition of the songs. We think this is our best record to date and we can’t wait for everyone to hear it. We also plan to find success with this album so we can continue to record music and reach people with our stories and experiences.

It might have been 2 years since their last release but this time has been well spent fine tuning their songwriting skills as ‘What We’re Made Of’ is by far their best collection of songs to date! Like a fine Tennessee bourbon they get better and stronger with age. For me Southern Rock is something special as it is rock that has soul. There are plenty of southern rockers out there but I think only a small portion of them that can deliver this special element to their sound and no band does it better than Lynyrd Skynyrd. The Vegabonds have this quality down to a T and it is what makes them sound so good and stand out from the crowd. I remember when I first heard them, it was that heart in their music that grabbed me and they still do that today!

‘What We’re Made Of’ is a great collection of songs that they describe as ‘hard-hitting lyrics that don’t hesitate to touch on real-life situations like growing up, moving on, heartbreak, loss and the struggles that accompany it all‘. This can be heard in the song ‘Oh my Lord’ which Daniel shared in the interview was created after the loss of his Grandfather. The lyrics on this song feel personal as I felt there was something about the song before I knew the story behind it. Throughout the album you hear this wonderful combination of great lyrical content that has emotional depth, delivered to perfection by the vocal talents by Daniel. You can hear how he connects to each song helping to make this album irresistible. Another example of this is the title track ‘What We’re Made of’, the lyrics leaped out at me on the first listen and still does with every listen since then.

As much as the lyrics and vocals are what helps to make this album standout it would be nothing without the rest of the band. Everyone contributes to the overall sound which has a great balance of tender moments to rocking out. One of my favourite rocking tracks is ‘Cruise On’ has this awesome energy with some kick ass riffs and great skills on the keys from Beau. On the other end of the scale they can deliver a tender atmosphere to give the emotional songs that extra depth. You can tell these guys have been together for a long time as they play to each others strengths to create nothing but amazing music.

My favourite song ‘Take a Ride’ stands out by a mile as when the band bring down the tempo to deliver a heart felt sound I think they’re untouchable. The intro has a tender guitar to set the tone before Daniels vocals come in with my favourite lyrics about life’s journey. There is something about it that I can’t help but connect to and it’s a great song. Give it a listen and you will understand what I mean. Head over to their Soundcloud and YouTube pages to listen to the album in full and fall for the charm that this album has. If you like what you hear and need to add their music to your collection then you can purchase it from the usual online stored of Amazon and iTunes.

I am so glad that The Vegabond guys have no plans to take their foot off the accelerator by continuing touring and working on the next album. I do hope one day I will get to see them perform live as I know from reviews they always put on a great show. If you want to find out about their tour plans, future releases  or want to learn more about the band then head over to their website at TheVegabonds.com. You can also follow their adventures via their social media site at Facebook and Twitter, if you do then don’t forget to say hello.

To end my review I want to leave you with the usual reminder to support independent/unsigned music. We need to support this music that matters to us to help it grow which will encourage these musicians to release more music. I call this a win/win situation for everyone. Hopefully you have listened to the music from The Vegabonds and if you like what you hear then help spread the word about their music today!