Ben Vaughn | Imitation Wood Grain and Other Folk Songs

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Imitation Wood Grain and Other Folk Songs

by Ben Vaughn

A solo acoustic collection of ten new songs from an artist described by the Village Voice as having “a sound so pure and spontaneous it sounds instantly classic."
Genre: Folk: Folk Blues
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
a> clip
1. When Love Returns
2:40 $0.99
2. People It's Bad
2:46 $0.99
3. Meanwhile (Back in the Jungle)
3:12 $0.99
4. Look What the Cat Dragged In
2:17 $0.99
5. Imitation Wood Grain
3:56 $0.99
6. Rock Bottom
2:35 $0.99
7. Rain Songs
2:55 $0.99
8. Echo Chamber Blues
1:29 $0.99
9. Somebody Don't Love Somebody
2:14 $0.99
10. Apropos of Nothing
1:53 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
On a December night in Philadelphia, near the end of a tumultuous 2017, I found myself at the Boot & Saddle, rocking out to the Ben Vaughn Quintet. The club, surrounded by the snow dusted concrete of the city, felt like a desert oasis. The band blasted through nearly thirty years of Ben Vaughn music, from reverb heavy surf rock to jazz inflected French pop, from hard edged punk rock to twangy country-western. The boozy crowd sang along with the choruses, as though Ben’s music was the soundtrack to their lives.
Imitation Wood Grain is a more intimate affair—the kind of music Ben might have played at 3 AM that morning, after most of us had trekked home still humming “I Dig Your Wig.” The folks who might have stuck around would have heard a wonderful collection of wryly humorous bluesy-folk songs about love and loss. Like gazing at an old Polaroid picture of a long-lost lover, the title track captures the nostalgia of having once known someone intimately. The album also draws on the American tradition of “down on your luck” songs, but it’s never a sad affair. As Ben croons on the breezy opening track, “When gray clouds part and the sun comes shining through, I’m going to do what lovers do and go dancing in the street.” It’s a delightful sentiment, one of many on this album, full of certainty that love will one day return. This music is an invitation---to share together, to reminisce over, to listen to again and again.

-- Alan Drew

Alan Drew is the author of Gardens Of Water and Shadow Man, published by Random House.



to write a review


simple complexity
While this a short album, it is packed with fun and deserved repeated listening. The songs showcase Ben’s songwriting talent and often his wry sense of humor. Simple arrangements, with guitar and Mills Brother style horns (as needed), keep the lyrics the focus. My favorite tracks are the title, a wistful ballad, and “Echo Chamber Blues” which is even better when played on a loop. If you dig deeply enough, you will find that the songs are filled with subtle hat tips to the likes of Fred Neil, The Cascades, The Hollies, Dee Clark, Gene Ammons and Chips Moman.