Southern California-Based singer-songwriter Stoll Vaughan comes to Knoxville December 19 to perform on WDVX’s Blue Plate Special. His 2018 album The Conversation, co-produced by Mike Wanchic (John Mellencamp) and Carl Broemel (My Morning Jacket) marks a return to his solo career after over a decade of working with other artists.
Reviewing The Conversation for The Morton Report, Bill Bentley wrote that that Vaughan crafts “the kind of songs that feel like they will be around a long time, moving listeners to use them as something to hold on to and hopefully make sense of what can sometimes be the senseless.” Goldmine’s Mike Greenblatt saluted his “verve, daring, vigor and acuity of vision” while suggesting, “One can lose one’s self in his thought provoking lyrics while grooving to his instant old-friend voice.”
Vaughan was recruited to play guitar by punk-turned-rock band Chamberlain while working at John Mellencamp guitarist Mike Wanchic’s recording studio. By the mid ‘00s, Vaughan had released two solo albums, Hold On Thru Sleep & Dreams and Love Like A Mule, touring with the likes of John Fogerty, John Mellencamp, Marty Stuart, Don Williams, James McMurtry, and as a concert opener act on a Journey/Def Leppard national tour. Vaughan then detoured into TV/film, getting his songs featured in True Blood, Friday Night Lights, Shameless, The Office and composing music for David Lynch’s Webby Award-winning documentary series Interview Project. More recently, he co-wrote with Duane Betts and Devon Allman, the sons of Dickey Betts and Gregg Allman, for their debut record as The Allman Betts Band. They have since become touring partners.
“I’m too country for folk, and I’m too folk for country,” Stoll Vaughan explains of his new album The Conversation, which walks that fine line between genres. “When it was time for me to get back to the process of writing songs for myself, I thought maybe I should reconsider everything. I’d been in music. I could write songs for other people, but I had lost a sense of what I would like to say. I was left feeling distant, and that distance made me look inward. The album’s title signifies being in a continual conversation regarding people, God, and the fears we carry around, and how music interplays with everything emotionally and spiritually.”