Okay, so maybe Ben Vaughn doesn’t actually do shamus work on the side. But if he did, you can bet he’d approach it with the same combination of gut instinct, laconic wit and total lack of pretentiousness that’s served him so well over the course of three decades in the music biz.
Vaughn loves music like Columbo loves a tough case, and his insatiable search for sonic clues and secrets has led him on a circuitous, action-packed journey from East Coast punk dives to Hollywood TV studios, an odyssey that’s included such guest stars as Charlie Feathers, Arthur Alexander, Ween, Alex Chilton and a ’65 Rambler. He’s made critically acclaimed records with (and without) the Ben Vaughn Combo, gigged everywhere from the Mojave Desert to behind the Iron Curtain, and composed music for hit sitcoms like “That 70’s Show” and “3rd Rock From The Sun”.
Ultimately, though, it all comes back to Vaughn’s songs — wry, rootsy and righteously tuneful concoctions that sound like what might happen if Nick Lowe, Duane Eddy and Henry Mancini piled into Jim Rockford’s Pontiac Firebird and peeled out for a beer-soaked jam with the Sir Douglas Quintet at some roadhouse near the edge of nowhere. The third installment of the Vaughn Sings Vaughn series once again finds our hero (and his estimable associates, the Desert Classic) breathing fresh life into his older classics, as well as taking some new babies out for a spin. Hop in, enjoy the ride, and don’t expect to be back ‘til dawn.
Palm Springs, California
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