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Review: Kenny Vaughn, "V"

Published: Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Updated: Wednesday, December 7, 2011 17:12

Kenny Vaughan


(Sugar Hill)

Grade: B+


Kenny Vaughan has been the guitar slinger in Marty Stuart's Fabulous Superlatives for 10 years, and the Colorado native has been an in-demand accompanist since he hit Nashville in the late 1980s.

V is Vaughan's first solo album, and it's, well, superlative. A brisk and varied set of originals, it blends impressive instrumental mastery with down-to-earth charm.

Backed by the Fabulous Superlatives, including Stuart, Vaughan starts off appropriately with the rollicking honky-tonk of "Country Music Got a Hold on Me." From there, he dives into Western swing with "Hot Like That," goes hangdog for the mandolin-accented lament "Lillie Mae," channels Buck Owens with the propulsive twang of "Stay Out of My Dreams," gets funky with the Oak Ridge Boys on a trip to "Okolona, Tennessee," and closes with the driving gospel of "Don't Leave Home Without Jesus."

Interspersed among these numbers are three atmospheric but wholly distinct instrumentals, which help round out the vibrant portrait of a sideman who has more than ably stepped to the front.

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