Kenny Vaughan 'V' Sugar Hill

For his debut solo album Mr Vaughan takes on a journey across the country music map and he makes no stop at Muisc Row. Drawing from a range of musical styles this album, as you would expect from a Tele-master has great playing at it's heart. Using, essentially, his band mates from the Superlatives including Marty Stuart this is not unlike the albums that have come from that fine outfit. Along the way Kenny Vaughan has absorbed a lot of musical influences which inform his country playing. Everything from country pickers Luther Perkins, Don Rich and Roy Nichols to touches of blues, jazz and rock. Whatever the source the songs are a joy to hear, they sound vibrant and full of the verve you get from players who are making the music for the right reasons. Hot Like That is cut from the same cloth as BR5-49 and features Chris Scruggs on steel, while the other steel-like sounds were provided by Marty Stuart using Clarence White's B-Bender guitar. The opening Country Music Got A Hold On Me is a statement of authenticity and absolution. A companion piece to Mike Henderson's Country Music Made Me Do It from some years back. There are crafted instrumentals like Minuit Sur La Place. Another side to Mr. Vaughan's talent is shown in his writing as he has penned all the songs here, including two co-written with Stuart. Production is handled in a clear, concise and captivating way by Brendan Bell, Carmella Ramsey and Vaughan himself. While not know as a vocalist Vaughan holds is own on these songs and when joined by The Oak Ridge Boys on Okolona, Tennessee is a distinctive vocal presence on the songs. The late night feel of Mysterium with his twanging guitar over the jazz keyboards of Charles Treadway sounds like theme for a undiscovered film noir narrative. The closing track, the high-spirited gospel Don't Leave Home Without Jesus affirms the spirited support of his superlative band mates and V confirms Kenny Vaughan not only as a renowned player but also as writer and singer who can only develop these skills alongside his guitar mastery. One can hope that V will soon be followed by V1. Country music, in all it's forms will survive as long as people like Marty Stuart and Kenny Vaughan love and breathe life into the music that still inspires them, as their music does this listener.