Ben Vaughn

Ben Vaughn

Ben Vaughn grew up in the Philadelphia area on the New Jersey side of the river. At age 6, his uncle gave him a Duane Eddy record and forever changed his life.

In 1983, he formed the Ben Vaughn Combo. The band was together five years, releasing two albums and touring the U.S. several times. They received rave reviews in Rolling Stone and People magazine and video airplay on MTV. The attention inspired Marshall Crenshaw to record Ben's "I'm Sorry (But So Is Brenda Lee)" for his "Downtown" album.

Ben embarked on a solo career in 1988, recording several critically acclaimed albums, touring extensively in Europe and the U.S. and receiving more MTV exposure. During that period he produced three records for the Elektra Records American Explorer series (Memphis rockabilly legend Charlie Feathers, Muscle Shoals country soul singer Arthur Alexander) and recorded "Cubist Blues," a collaboration with Alan Vega and Alex Chilton. He also scored two films ("Favorite Mopar" and "Wild Girl's Go-Go Rama"), as well as appearing as a frequent guest commentator on nationally syndicated radio shows “Fresh Air” and "World Cafe."

In 1995, Ben moved to L.A. and released "Instrumental Stylings," an album of instrumentals in a variety of styles. A guest appearance on KCRW's "Morning Becomes Eclectic" led directly to being hired as the composer for the hit TV sitcom "3rd Rock From The Sun." "That 70s Show" soon followed, and for the next ten years Ben would provide award-winning music for a dozen other TV shows and pilots ("Men Behaving Badly," "Normal, Ohio," "Grounded For Life"). He also provided scores for several films ("Psycho Beach Party," "The Independent," "Scorpion Spring") and continued producing records (Ween, Los Straitjackets, Mark Olson of the Jayhawks, Nancy Sinatra, and the "Swingers" soundtrack CD).

Somehow Ben found time to create the legendary "Rambler '65." Recorded entirely in his car, this much-publicized album (and subsequent short film) is still considered by many to be a classic document of a man and his dream.

Since then, Ben has released “Designs In Music," “Vaughn Sings Vaughn Vols. 1-3,” “Texas Road Trip” (recorded in Austin, Texas with Doug Sahm’s band) as well as "Five By Five" and "Piece de Resistance" by the Ben Vaughn Quintet.

Add to that an Italian dance hit (a DJ re-mix of “Hey Romeo”), airplay of “Jerry Lewis in France” on Bob Dylan’s radio show (complete with Dylan’s recitation of Ben’s resume), and two recent tours in France and you’re looking at what continues to be a very interesting career.

Occasionally, Ben takes a break from his syndicated radio show (“The Many Moods of Ben Vaughn”) to perform live in the US and Europe. The dates are randomly planned so catch him while you can!

Dan Montgomery

He was born in Philadelphia (1960), grew up in South Jersey and now lives in Memphis, Tennessee. That’s the short version. Lets connect the dots. Learning to play his brother’s guitar on the sly, Dan played in a bunch of teen garage bands including Samuel Jay (Bad Company a specialty) and the 10 piece R&B based Below Average White Band (they played “Heatwave” three times each set – not that anyone asked them to) around Pennsauken, NJ. In his late teens Dan began playing at Camden, NJ’s semi-legendary club The Perimeter. It was a great place to play: people sat quietly and listened. Dan says: “It gave me a totally false sense of what to expect elsewhere”.

A few years later Dan spent time as soundman and road manager for The Ben Vaughn Combo. It was an amazing adventure touring the country for five years, learning how it all worked (and sometimes how it didn’t work), how to structure shows yet still be able to be spontaneous in the moment, how to live on $5/day and still really enjoy it! Dan also fronted several bands in Philly, most notably the Flamin’ Groovies/MC5 inspired Drugs Before Breakfast and Pub Rockers Del Pez. The latter band released a single on the King of Rock label entitled ‘Hope I Had a Good Time’.

Personal and musical unrest led to an ill-fated move to the California desert. The isolation brought him back to his Perimeter roots style and a solo career was born. The huge upshot of this move was a visit to Memphis along the way out West, where Dan met his new bride. “Cali tanked and going back to Jersey was a backwards step, so I came to Memphis for a summer and have been here several years now. I’ve planted my seeds here and I cant imagine living anywhere else now”.

In 2003 Dan released his first solo album entitled ‘Man From Out Of State‘. An acoustic based travelogue that looks back at ten years, three thousand miles and almost as many sleepless nights. Reviews were excellent especially in Europe and Dan hit the road often with accordionist Gus Cordovox and bassist Neal Arot (the core players on the record). Dan followed the album up with the highly ambitious concept album ‘Rosetta, Please (A Love Story)’. Rosetta was the story of a guy Dan met many years ago in a NJ bar, who was an ex-con and his girlfriend (Rosetta) a prostitute. The album was a bigger hit and even made several Year End Best Of lists (including The Philadelphia Inquirer and North Carolina’s Independent). The key song “Favorite Color” even went to number two on radio in Corpus Christi, TX. Americana bible No Depression called it “An Astonishing Album”! Much touring with the band on the record (The Professional Baddasses) followed.

Then in 2010 he got ready to release his third work ‘You’ll Never Be A Bird‘, a twelve song piece of what Dan called ‘Omni folk’. A sprawling record that ran the gamut from lilting ballads to outright heavy rockers, ‘You’ll Never Be A Bird’ featured the amazing musicianship of Robert Maché (Steve Wynn, Continental Drifters, The Mumps) on guitar and mandolin among others. “I’ve worked long and hard on this album”, said Montgomery, “Going so far as to scrap two previous attempts because they just weren’t up to par”. Again much touring followed its release, from smokey corner bars to intimate listening rooms, house concerts to concert halls, solo or with his full band. Dan Montgomery proves night after night that he’s a compelling and entertaining performer.

And now it’s time for his fourth release with the smart title ‘Sin, Repent, Repeat’! This title fits perfectly with Dan himself as well as his songs. It is a moody, emphatic ride through the lives of a number of happy and mostly unhappy song characters. There are a few ballads and slower songs on the well-balanced album, but most tracks are sturdy, raw roots rock. An extra dimension is added by piano, saxophone, violin and harmony vocals by Candace Maché, a pleasing counterpoint to the unfriendly growl of Dan. Thirteen tracks, just as unmoved and stoic as the album title, never shy away from any difficult subject. An endless row of bitter relationships, abuse of drugs, loneliness and especially a lot of thinking with a bottle within arm’s reach. Intense subjects, brought with a sly, sharp sense of humor and a surprising honesty which brings the song characters to life.

Co-producer Robert Maché was the ideal partner to realize his musical vision for this raw rock record. A skilled team brings out the best in everybody and a good working atmosphere gives the music that little extra. If you take the time to listen, the expressions will grow on you. Dan is not the only one who writes about these themes and subjects: troubled relationships, addictions and loneliness – but the dynamic, original, sharp style is all his own approach. It leaves a small way out from the endless dark circle, with a bit of humor and self-mocking. There needs to be a connection with the ‘cast-iron songs and torch ballads’, what the artist offers has to be genuine, from the inside, you need to feel it… (Yes, there is a lyrics booklet, hallelujah!)

Jack Harris

Jack Harris is an eighteen-year-old singer songwriter. He was born in Upstate New York and has lived in Cleveland, Ohio for most of his life.

Jack's music is acoustic pop with hints of country, folk, indie and rock. His inspiration for his songwriting comes from real life experiences with love, loss, happiness, anxiety, and change. His hooks are catchy and his verses are deep.

Jack just released his first three singles (Hold on to Me, I Get Lost, and Song For You) in March of 2019. Jack continues to work on new music, and his next set of songs is expected to drop in June of 2019.



Primarily Seated, General Admission

Ben Vaughn will also be interviewed at the Rock Hall in the Foster Theater on Monday, July 22 @ 2pm.

"Music plays an integral part In TV productions -- some choices can make or break a show. See an in-depth interview with Ben Vaughn, who spent 25 years as music director, producer, arranger and performer for film and television. In conjunction with the museum’s Stay Tuned: Rock on TV exhibit, he’ll discuss his work on hit shows including 3rd Rock from the Sun and That 70s Show.”


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