Interview - Vincent Vaughan
Vincent Vaughan is a classic ‘musician’s musician’ - a man who has dedicated more than three decades of his life telling stories of everyday people through song. His humble yet powerful style of performing has endeared him to a diverse circle of listeners for many years. Now, with the release of some of the most compelling songs of his career, he is ready to share his eclectic, three chords-and-the-truth style with new audiences.
He will release his version of Richard Hawley's song 'Serious' on April 21, 2023. The country offering is an re-imagined version with a smoother feel, compared to the rockabilly vibe on the original version, though not deliberately, taking on an almost crooner vibe. Although he has established himself as a songwriter, penning songs for the likes of Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter and American voice actress Grey DeLisle-Griffin, Vincent Vaughan will be delivering a catalogue of his own covers of some of his favourite artists' work. He seeks to pay tribute to his musical influences, to which he will then channel that same musical passion into his own original work.
We sat down with Vincent Vaughan to discuss his music and much more. Here is what he had to say:
Hey Vincent Vaughan, welcome to FLEX! How are you?
I’m great, thanks. I’m really looking forward to my busy year ahead with lots of plans to release music. I’ve five new singles in the pipeline. a five week trip to the US for a recording session in San Marcos, Texas to record more music for release later this year, and next year. And then on to Austin, Texas for a week of songwriting with some colleagues. Following this, it’s onwards to Nashville to attend a week-long writing workshop with one of my musical heroes Rodney Crowell. And finally, all going according to plan, I will spend a couple of days co-writing with Grammy Award Winner Grey Delisle, who is about to release a song which started life in my head last year.
You blend musical genres of vintage country and Americana with threads of your Irish musical heritage, who are your biggest influences?
I have a very broad taste in music which tends to be influenced by 'when I like what I hear' regardless of genre. As far as Irish music is concerned, I like traditional Irish instrumental music, Irish ballad singers such as Jim McCann, Paddy Reilly, the Fureys, Tommy Makem and Liam Clancy, De Danann, Paul Brady some of the ladies such as Maura O Connell, Mary Black, Delores Keane Mary Coughlin Cathy Davy to name but a few.
You will release your version of Richard Hawley's song 'Serious' on April 21, 2023 - what made you want to make a country offering of this particular track?
I very much enjoy the lyrics of songs and the descriptive poetry they can create. Richard Hawley's original version had very much a rockabilly groove, which I was very much drawn towards initially. As I delved into the lyrics of Richard's song I found them to be very descriptive and it was very easy to develop the mental imagery generated by the lyrics. Whereas the original up beat rockabilly version was very infectious and enjoyable I felt that some of the imagery was lost on me. I sometime like taking songs and having a go at re-imagining them, once I started playing about with the chord progression and adding one or two extra chords to it, the song very quickly morphed into what has become my take on it, which I feel has an Americana groove to it. Richard Hawley himself was quite complimentary about it in an email to me.
For views who don’t know Vincent Vaughan, how would you describe your sound?
When playing 'live' I play solo, simply vocals and guitar and let the songs do the talking. I am fortunate to have developed a somewhat individual guitar playing style over the years that gives quite a full sound. I dislike the idea of backing tracks etc and much prefer to keep my music 'real' even if it is 'warts and all'. My intention is to put a live band together later this year to take my music on tour. The intention being that the band will be made up of drums, bass, piano, electric guitar and myself on vocals and guitar.
And what are some of those activities that you engage yourself in when you aren't writing or recording in the studio?
Since I was a small child I was obsessed with aeroplanes and flying. When I was at school I wanted to be an airline pilot and following leaving school had been accepted for pilot training, but unfortunately just before I was to commence training I was seriously injured in a motorcycle accident which took a very long time to recover from, and thus my dreams of being an airline pilot were stolen from me. I did however go on to learn to fly, achieve my pilots license and became a flying instructor, teaching many people to fly who themselves went on to become commercial pilots and a few becoming military pilots also. This has always been a labour of love for me, I've always enjoyed teaching people and seeing them go on to succeed for themselves.