Few people know this, but Buffalo, NY is a special kind of powerhouse for music. Some of the greatest musicians and bands in the business were sprung from the cold Western New York area. For example, The Goo Goo Dolls, Spyro Gyra, moe., Bobby Militello and so many others from the jazz scene to rock and roll hold hot chicken wing sauce deep in their souls. As a Buffalonian, I get particularly excited when a musician has success from home and broadens their sounds elsewhere. To continue that high music culture, Vin DeRosa, a local singer-songwriter has been making waves with his unique music. Luckily, I was able to catch the talented musician during his quick stopover show at Rockwood Music Hall this past week.
Fun fact, Vin was actually a friend of my family before he began his journey in music. During a recent visit back home in the fall, my family and I went out to dinner at our favorite Buffalo restaurant, Trattoria Aroma, where Vin was performing that evening. It was out first chance to enjoy some of his music and I was immediately impressed. Snagging his latest ‘Hesitate EP,’ I was hooked. Fast forward five months and I learn that he was going to make his way to the big apple for a show! I had to see if he had any more surprises to unleash.
Rockwood Music Hall, which has been my most attended venue this year, was a welcome comfort that night. It was another strangely warm evening in the middle of February. I arrived early so I could meet with Vin and wish him good luck. After slowly sipping a whiskey, the kind Mr. DeRosa made sure to say hello and thanked me for coming by. He quickly immersed himself back to some more familiar visitors of his vast collection of friends and fans. Waiting to enter Stage Three, I noticed that I was not the only one lingering patiently. The tightly packed crowd would later make their way downstairs to congregate for some fantastic music. It was a remarkable collection of people for a Monday night.
As we were all finally able to head downstairs, the darkly lit space revealed a keyboard, guitar and a cajon to my amazement ready for use. Vin was performing with the equally talented Doyle Brothers, fellow 716ers, who only amplified the musical ambiance. It was a good young crowd who were simply happy to be there and support their friends. There was some good old Buffalo spirit in that room. When the men were set to begin, Vin was on guitar and eager to start. Mr. DeRosa was grinning all the way during the show. With the lights dimmed, all three of them got right into it. Vin sang with a soft yet soulful vigor. He made sure to keep his eyes closed while he sang and strummed the guitar smoothly. The beat was nice and solid to go along with Vin’s voice. It was entertaining to watch the man in action as he was doing his music march on stage. All of the music started off in an interesting Indie Soul vibe. Tied in with that genre was the use of the keys as a vibration of feels in the space, both physically and emotionally. Both the keys and the cajon were an excellent pairing with Vin’s sound.
As the show progressed, Vin unveiled his scatting skills that flowed right into the next song. They wasted no time in between songs and used their time wisely. Mr. DeRosa’s voice was powerful and the soul of it all told a great story within his music. When the harmonies came out, they were perfect and went well with his fellow music colleagues. Vin even managed to introduce some rap in there for a few songs. I could not help but notice the reggae, pop and soul rock immersed in all of his tunes. It was an eclectic taste of genres with none resembling the last. Each was new and enjoyable. Vin took it off with a nice rock riff and one point and this one had much more of a reggae feel with the John Mayer face going on. Eventually, he took it down with a poppy mellow sense. That song was received positively and was supported by his hand motions by his guitar when wanting to convey a special lyric or moment in time. Cheers in the crowd proved his success.
Vin DeRosa is really a Jack of all mediums in his music. The only commonality that I could hear was an infectious beat and captivating rhythm. His voice was his strongest instrument. The life he brought into the space was captivating in that regard. As his show came to end, he sent a final pop tune out in the hall and everyone would have been dancing in the middle of this if they could. It was a wonderful evening of superb music. Keep an eye out for this gentleman; he will be joining your music library soon, if he hasn’t already.