Singer-songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Ben Vaughn is set to release The World of Ben Vaughn on April 23, delivering a limited edition 12-inch LP just in time for Record Store Day 2022. The record sees Vaughn playing all of the instruments including a twelve-string guitar in the Lead Belly tradition, as well as banjo, bass, drums, keyboards, and harmonica.
Record Store Day invited him to take part this year, and he realized he had to record the songs he had written and get to the pressing plant. But he’s no stranger to writing and recording to a deadline. After releasing seven albums and touring internationally, he spent more than a decade in Hollywood creating television music and scoring numerous films. “It was great to have a looming deadline,” Vaughn told ABS about the new record in an interview.
Vaughn composed the themes for the award-winning T.V. sitcoms 3rd Rock From The Sun, That ‘70s Show, Men Behaving Badly, Normal, Ohio, Grounded For Life, Psycho Beach Party, The Independent, and Scorpion Spring. Vaughn has produced records for Ween, Los Straitjackets, and the Swingers soundtrack. And currently, he produces and hosts The Many Moods of Ben Vaughn.
Marshall Crenshaw recorded “I am Sorry (But so is Brenda Lee)” back in 1985, putting Vaughn on the map. More recently, indie rock band Deer Tick covered a version of his song “Too Sensitive For This World.” Vaughn has collaborated with such artists as Alex Chilton, Alan Vega, and Rodney Crowell – who taught him that every single word matters.
Vaughn recorded at the Relay Shack in the Mojave Desert, well-known to fans of his syndicated radio show, and the Penthouse in Santa Monica. Driving back and forth between his house in the Mojave Desert and his apartment in Santa Monica, song ideas come naturally and flow like water. “I try to memorize them so when I pull over, I can sing them into my phone. I hear the melody and I hear the rhythm. It isn’t until I pick up a guitar that I realize what key I was in when it was in my head. I play the chords that support the melody, so it is melody first.”
Premiering exclusively here today is the live, unplugged performance of “In My Own Reality,” the studio recording of which appears on the new record.
“In my own reality, there’s plenty of room for you and me,” Vaughn sings as a one-man band on a sunny, untroubled day in Parts Unknown, USA. “In my own reality, we will forever be free.”
This looks to be a busy year for Ben Vaughn. Tied in with the Record Store Day release of The World Of Ben Vaughn will be a string of U.S. dates and a tour of Spain in May. “I’m excited about performing the new songs in front of people,” he says, “and it looks like that might actually be allowed to happen now!”