NEW ARTIST SPOTLIGHT: Tyrone Vaughan
There’s a ton of Country and lots of rockin’ blues throughout Downtime, released in January on the Kickitup indie imprint. And all of it is unmistakably Texan, which of course is to be expected, given Tyrone Vaughan’s Lone Star pedigree. His father is Jimmie Vaughan, whose steely guitar tone and funk phrasing surfaces in the rhythm that drives “Ladies Man,” with the spirit of his uncle — the late Stevie Ray Vaughan, summoned through wah-wah guitar fills. But though his playing evokes his illustrious relations, the younger Vaughan doesn’t hesitate to also drop a banjo in the middle of that track.
Through The Fabulous Thunderbirds, with whom his dad played lead guitar, Vaughan became intimately familiar with the blues as a child. His fiery six-string chops and strong, assertive vocals propelled him full-speed into the Austin club circuit right after high school.
As lead guitarist and songwriter with Breedlove, a road-toughened band that packed rooms throughout the state, Vaughn rediscovered his family’s Country roots. He also sharpened his game through gigs with Stevie Ray’s Double Trouble, blues piano legend Pinetop Perkins and ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons, among others. Now, with Downtime, Vaughan takes the reins. He co-wrote all 10 of its songs, many of them musical cocktails with multiple influences stirred in. But from the wryly humorous, steel-glistened lament “She Could’ve Had Anything,” to the single and title track, we are neck-deep in Country, not just in the feel and arrangements but in the blue-collar imagery of saloons, trucks, fishing and “working that line.”
What’s in a name? If that name is Vaughan, plenty.
IN HIS OWN WORDS
DREAM DUET PARTNER
ITEMS IN YOUR PERSONAL TIME CAPSULE
“Patsy Cline’s voice, Jimi Hendrix’s music and Johnny Cash’s biography.
“A juju bag blessed by a high priest in New Orleans.”
WHAT YOU SING IN THE SHOWER
“Soul songs by Donny Hathaway.”
FAVORITE FOOD ON THE ROAD
“Anything light — sushi, salads …”
GREATEST PERFORMANCE TO DATE
“I performed with Billy Gibbons one night at one of my dad’s shows in New Orleans. I think it’s what I didn’t play that was so impressive. ‘Less is more, son!’”
SOMETHING WE’D NEVER GUESS ABOUT YOU
“I like chess, golf, cooking and vocal meditations.”
By Bob Doerschuk