The musical master craftsman that is Danny Vaughn has played in countless different outfits over the years including one of his more recent (and ongoing) acts, The Ultimate Eagles, one of the most renowned and critically acclaimed Eagles tribute acts in the world. His years of touring in various different atmosphere readied him long ago to delve into solo work and this June see’s the release of his latest remarkable solo album Myth’s, Legends and Lies.
Myths, Legends and Lies is every bit as grandiose and dramatic as its title suggests it is with a rich cacophony of sound that completely envelopes you from the first moment. Opening with The Shadow of King John, it sets the tone for the rest of the album incredibly adeptly. With Vaughn’s warm vocals spilling out atop a heady collection of stunning melodies and harmonies you are blown away by the resonance of his extreme and relentless restlessness. The energy with which he produces his music could power your town for a month. It is a charismatic and dextrous album that moves as subtly as a tree in the wind but is as deeply rooted and down-to-earth as the very same tree. Grand, jovial and overwhelmingly powerful but with a soft and playful tinge to it, Vaughn’s work at time can be comparable to the likes of Great Big Sea.
This warmth and jovial sensibility is something that Vaughn carries throughout his album, never quite allowing himself to take things too seriously and often overtly ridiculing things with songs such as the sardonic Monkeys with Money and Guns. There is always this gentle, almost slyly sarcastic twang in his songs that go well with his knee-slapping jamboree style of sound as he gathers around him violins, slide-guitars, cellos, harmonicas, bursting jazz brass and gospel styled organs. His brazen and unabashed nature lead to heartfelt and poetic lyrics as well as fantastical melodies. Songs such as Black Crow is complete with nods to the likes of Captain Beefheart and Tom Waits and each song weaves its own references together to create Vaughn’s own unique blend. Monkeys with Money and Guns is heavily influenced by blues while Deep Water is more influenced by jazz and Man or Machine has got a clear bout of folk at the helm. His versatility is as boundless as his energy and Myths, Legends and Lies takes you on an enriching and meandering journey where you never quite know the destination.
All his years on the music scene have more than readied Vaughn for his solo career but with Myths, Legends and Lies it really does feel as though he has taken himself to the next level as he creates his rich soundscapes of inimitable melodies as his musical nature evolves time and time again.
UK Live Dates
July 11: Bannermans in Edinburgh, UK
July 12: Waterloo Music Bar in Blackpool, UK
July 13: Sanders Yard Bistro in Whitby, UK (Sold Out)
July 19: Queen’s Hall, Nuneaton
July 20: Tivoli, Buckley
Aug 16: The Dreadnought in Bathgate, UK
Aug 17: The Diamond Rock Bar in Ballymena, N. Ireland
Aug 22: The Black Heart, London
Aug 23: The Cluny, Newcastle
Aug 29: Eleven, Stoke On Trent
Aug 30: The Asylum, Birmingham
Review by Joe Knipe