Ray Vaughn to Release Way Down Low June 25th

Ray Vaughn – Artist Biography 2013

Ray Vaughn has written songs and performed in dives and on street corners for a very, very long time. He was a founding member of San Francisco based Punk/Art Rock band HOSTAGES, then DIE BOSSA NOVA, until disappearing in 1992. Ray Vaughn resurfaced in 2010 as a solo acoustic act. After traveling back and forth between New York City and San Francisco, road testing new material, and playing and writing new songs, Vaughn eventually headed back into the studio with Grammy award winning producer Michael Rosen (Tesla/Rancid/Papa Roach) in December of 2011. The result of their efforts is the new 10-track full-length album Way Down Low. Way Down Low features longtime friend and guitarist from the HOSTAGES Ed Rawlings, Drummer Michael Urbano (Smash Mouth, Third Eye Blind, John Hiatt, Black Lab, Cracker, Paul Westerberg, Red House Painters, Willy DeVille, and Sheryl Crow), ex-DIE BOSSA NOVA bassist Stephen Winkle, and keyboardist Phil Bennett on Hammond B3.

In the fall of 1979, Ray Vaughn formed the HOSTAGES. Having previously spent 6 years in England, first in London and then Birmingham, Vaughn was broadsided and inspired by the exploding music scene around him in the UK at the time, and he brought those influences back home. He moved back to his native San Francisco in late 1978. The music scene he stumbled into upon his return was the antithesis of the scene that drove him away years earlier. In its place were The Mabuhay Gardens, the Deaf Club, and later Club Foot, Valencia Tool and Die, Sound of Music, and the 181 Club, to name just a few of the new and repurposed venues. “What could a poor boy do” but play in a band? The band eventually moved into a 3500-square foot warehouse space in the South of Market (SOMA) neighborhood in late 1980 and created their own venue, throwing monthly rent parties to get by. The space was christened Crab Palace.

HOSTAGES released their first 45 single, INSIDE HOUSES/NOW in 1983, followed by the INSIDE HOUSES video. HOSTAGES disbanded in 1984 with their final performance at Graffiti on Valencia Street in San Francisco. A live recording of that show remains in the HOSTAGES vault. Vaughn and guitarist Ed Rawlings continued as a duo playing under the name Part Two, then Human Condition, before settling on DIE BOSSA NOVA. DIE BOSSA NOVA added keyboardist Mitzi Johnson, who was later replaced by Scott Davies, bass player Stephen Winkle and drummer Mark V and continued playing and recording until their break up in June of 1991.

June 25th, 2013 marks the release of his new full-length album Way Down Low, which will be available in stores and online. For more information visit http://www.rayosomusic.com.


So What Now?

Recording done. CD in boxes in the garage. Lots of boxes, lots of CD’s. I am now officially a product. I have a team of 4 working to get out the product…me, to the press, radio, record stores, digital media, social media…sounds terribly impressive. I am a NASCAR engine waiting for a sign, waiting for the flag to drop. So what now? The 10 songs on the CD have gone from lovers to friends to…to, “its complicated”. They don’t seem to be living so comfortably inside me, rather they are desperate to escape, but I’m still waiting for the flag to drop. There is a road that waits for the rubber of my wheels to leave the sheen of the new 1000 miles behind me. Five thousand, 10 thousand…I can’t see beyond that and I don’t know and I don’t want to…but, damn when is that flag going to drop?

Making plans, will be in New York City soon, back to the West Coast, then North…club dates, elusive as I want them to be, how hard do I really want to work? An honest question.

I thrive in this chaos. Maybe.

I have a new Facebook music page Ray Vaughn


Swing by and, like it?

Be good. Stay tuned. Can’t wait to see you all, real soon.


Ray Vaughn

Sunday Never Comes

A year now and counting…patience never being my strong suit, what little patience I do have is just ’bout running out.

I’ve been spending a lot of time with Social Media over this past year. Need I remind the world, once again, via Social Networking, that my record is coming out, some day…maybe even soon? I was so happy to read recently that David Bowie was able to keep his new recording project a secret for the last two years. Two years! Can you imagine? Secrecy coming in second only to patience when considering the social skill sets I have yet to master. In the past year and a half of my, musical comeback, I’ve had no choice but to count on the secrecy of  Twitter, Face Book, Instagram, to generate the buzz. Unlike Mr Stardust, my one and only record, a 45 single, released in 1983 only sold 2oo or so copies. And I think 90% of those records sold were warped. Pressing outsourced to the Mojave Desert I suspect. DIY – yeah, I was punk alright.

The problem with using Social Networks for me is I cannot keep my digital mouth shut. I post the most inappropriate things, respond to the posts’ of strangers as if we were best friends…I’m living in a perpetual, “oops I did it again” twilight zone.  And do it again I did, just an hour ago. Oops.

A FB friend, Mr S. F., is one of the few people whose posts are always interesting. Chock full of really cool and important science facts, incredibly obscure historical items, origins of language and everyday words we use, artwork and artists most of us might not have ever seen, or heard about, architecture…it is such a great example of how Social Media can enlighten, bring knowledge to a public starved for information instead of just infotainment…

Which brings me back to the record. Surprised? The one that all my dear, and close FB friends have heard about, endlessly, I might say relentlessly…the record that still, isn’t. Is the product the important thing, or is it the process. If it’s the process, does anyone really need to hear about it? I mean, is there a societal need to know? If it’s a product, ditto.

Art for Art’s sake, discuss.

Sunday does this to me. I don’t know why. Is Sunday the beginning of the week or the end of the week?  How many years of Sundays does it take to complete a project? A record, a painting, a song, a garden…a first date, the last date, a great novel, a good day’s work…a good night’s sleep…sometimes we get so busy looking at the word count tally at the bottom of the page we can forget why we even started the story…

It’s just my personal mess…Happy 95th Pops…and where ever you are, I hope it’s Sunday.