“Humble Way” is the guitar-driven new single from John Vento’s album, “Love, Lust, and Other Wreckage.” On the track, the Pittsburgh rocker makes a round trip through his Classic Rock roots.
In both subject matter and style, he pays expert homage to the greats of the genre. In the process, he creates a little bit of modern-day Classic Rock magic of his own.
A series of staccato guitar chords introduce the tune. The finger plucked, slightly distorted Les Paul sound would make Angus Young proud. As John Vento’s voice growls into the mix, he sings the first verse full of direct shout-outs to the greats from the vinyl era. In just a handful of lines the singer makes reference to Bruce Springsteen, Humble Pie, and the “man in black,” Johnny Cash… leaving no doubt, the Classic Rock vibe is intentional
To complete the scenario, in the chorus of the song, the guitarist lets go of those tight chords and bangs out an open-string garage-rock groove. When a female backing singer responds, you’d swear you were listening to Keith Richards and Marriane Faithful trading riffs on “Gimme Shelter.”
Although the influences are clear, they are not the whole story. Lyrically the song tells the tale of personal growth. The protagonist finds humility, realizing the error in his previous hubris. He wants “to become your man, in a humble way.”
The production is excellent on the track. Guitars are front and stereo in the mix, matching the vibe of the tune perfectly. The playing is top-notch, complete with a surprise extended guitar solo after the second verse.
If you love Stones-style garage rock (and who doesn’t?), then check out John Vento at the links below. This is Rock & Roll, made by people who love Rock & Roll, for other people who love Rock & Roll.
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Here is what John says about John…
John Vento is often called a chameleon in the Pittsburgh music scene; and, while his critics may use the term as a pejorative, Vento views it as a compliment. He understands that they’re motivated by the frustration of their inability to lock him into a specific musical style. After all, the front man for the high-energy, hard-rockin’ bands, The Businessmen, and the Nied’s Hotel Band, is also known for his introspective, brooding solo recordings.
Rather than a drawback, however, John Vento considers such diversity to be among his strengths; and his fans agree. They relish sharing his tumultuous trek toward achieving his artistic vision, which he accomplishes by channeling a blend of eclectic influences through his own, raw emotions.
Helping to engineer the roller coaster ride is a stout core of collaborators, including John Randall Fox, Buddy Hall, Tim Hadley, and Frank Ferraro, along with renowned playwright/lyricist, Amy Hartman. Many members of this crew have been with him for more than a decade; and it’s easy to understand why, as Vento consistently showers them with appreciation and accolades. Though a one-of-a-kind performer, he professes a great distaste for the word, “solo,” insisting that, “Without my collaborators, I would not have accomplished anything.”
That’s no surprise to those who know him, as he truly is a humble, loving, and grateful person, who treasures his family and friends. Certainly, that comes across, loud and clear, in his honest, from-the-heart songs; and that, undoubtedly, is another quality which endears him to his fans. As he puts it, “If just one person is touched in some small way by one of my songs, that’s the greatest reward that I could receive.”
Of course, it’s purely logical that Vento would find a great following in this town. His steely resistance to categorization is the very essence and backbone of Pittsburgh. Built by a veritable melting pot of blue-collar workers, the once-gritty city has risen from the slag heap, through the smoke and haze, to become a sparkling, spectacular hub of culture and learning. Yet, it remains true to its deeply-forged identity.
John Vento’s 2019 MTS release is “Love, Lust and Other Wreckage.” His single, “Rainbows And Lightning” reached the Top 20 on iTunes Canada charts, receiving national and international airplay and charting. John is a January 2019 Billboard Magazine Emerging Artist.