Reviews and Suggestions

Deep Grooves: Ben Vaughn Combo – Beautiful Thing (Collector’s Choice)

The fine music-loving folks over at Collector’s Choice have unearthed this rare gem from the catalogue of the very underrated Ben Vaughn. The first question you might ask is “who is Ben Vaughn?” and then you might wonder why this relative unknown’s work is worthy of reissue when he was never able to find a substantial audience to begin with. While Vaughn has never been well known or written a huge hit, behind the scenes Vaughn is a well-respected musician’s musician and producer who has also contributed instrumental pieces used for TV show themes. In other words, you may not know who he is but you;vce heard his work many times.

He began by playing drums with garage punk bands in his native Philadelphia, later gaining notice for his guitar work and songwriting ability when roots rock legends The Morells recorded one of his songs. His first album was released back in 1986 and this, his second album, was the followup album and the last for the Ben Vaughn Combo as the group broke up and Vaughn became a true solo artist.

Blessed with an excellent sense of humor (the first song on this album is titled Jerry Lewis In France – hardly the usual topic for a rock and roller) as well as an innate ability to craft excellent songs, Vaughn has never sounded quite as vital as he does on this album. From folk-rock to frat-rock, Vaughn and his combo have it covered and those who want to check out the genesis of what makes Vaughn the rock and roll MVP he is today need to to pick up this reissue. Though it whizzed by the public with nary a whisper, this album is chock full of great tunes and should have been a top selling album. Don’t believe me? Check it out for yourself. I have no doubt you’ll agree with me 100 percent. Why? Because this album is a Beautiful Thing!