You hear people say they were born in the wrong generation all the time but I’ve never seen that phrase describe anyone more accurately than Jake Haldenwang. Haldenwang is an eighteen-year-old guitarist/singer/songwriter that will send you on a trip through time, all the way back to the sixties with his music then dragging you back to the present while picking up styles from every decade in between along the way. After being labeled a guitar prodigy and winning awards all over the country since the age of twelve, his band recently released a new EP that proves that this kid is the real deal and has the potential to shape a whole generation of guitarists to come.
Halden Vang is a band from Charlotte, NC that blends the styles of rock, blues, soul, R&B, and southern rock together while adding their own little touch of personality to the music to keep it fresh. How About Now is a the band’s newest EP that features six songs that will please anyone that has a taste for any of the styles mentioned above. The EP was mastered by Gene Paul, the son of the legendary Les Paul. If it’s good enough for the Paul family to put their name on it, that should be enough for you to know the album is worth adding to your collection. If you’re a fan of classic rock, like me, then you probably get burnt out on the same old bands you’ve grown to love but have trouble finding new music that gives you that sound you crave. Picking up this album will put an end to that search.
The first thing you will probably notice about this EP is the unique tone the guitar has. You’ll get that raunchy, fuzzy, powerful sound that was a staple for so many great players back in the sixties and seventies. Throw in a muddy twang sound at times and you’ll think you’re listening to greats like Clapton, Hendrix and Duane Allman. Just wait until you experience the wild ride some of these guitar solos will take you on. You can tell Haldenwang pours his soul out into his playing. Not only does he hit on those signature tones, he brings the modern sound of today’s rock into the mix, giving the songs his own unique style.
The lyrics are what really pulled me in though. Great music can easily be ruined by cheesy, meaningless lyrics thrown on top of it. You won’t hear the same old songs about “sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll” here; you’ll dive head first into the emotions and passions the musicians put into their writing with these songs and it gets pretty deep. Haldenwang isn’t the only one playing on this album though, you’ll also come to appreciate the tight, up-tempo rhythm section made up of bassist Cole Millward and drummer Andrew Marcadis as well. These guys keep the songs in check with a steady beat and toe tapping rhythm allowing Haldenwang to put his magic touch to the music.
If you’re a music enthusiast with a taste for the classic rock sound that seemed to disappear long ago, this is the album you need to fulfill your craving for new music. These songs are full of passion and emotions most bands just don’t have for their music and the six songs on this EP are better than most full albums that came out last year. Halden Vang gives fans of the genres of rock and blues a glimmer of hope for the future of music. That may be just enough to inspire the next young prodigy that has yet to pick up his or her guitar.