FORMER TYKETTO VOCALIST COMMENTS ON NEW TRACKS:
February 2, 2007
Former TYKETTO and WAYSTED singer, Danny Vaughn has posted his personal comments on the tracks included on his forthcoming album “Traveller” to be released on February 16th 2006. Don’t miss it!
MIRACLE DAYS – A couple of years ago I received a letter from a gentleman named Chuck Lindley telling me about a terrible accident that had happened to his son, Mason. Initially, his doctors had given him almost no chance of survival, yet, as time went on, he miraculously soldiered on through numerous operations and reconstructions. Mason had become a symbol and an inspiration to everyone he came in contact with, bearing it all with grace and laughter that only kids are capable of. A true warrior. Chuck went on to tell me that he dearly wanted to express to his son, in song, how much he loved him and, even more amazingly, that he wanted me to be the song writer to do it. Chuck had felt an affinity with me through songs I have written in the past. I launched into it right away and had the initial concept down pretty quickly. But I couldn’t make it what I wanted it to be. As time went on, and life’s usual troubles got in the way, I fell furthe r and further away from finishing the song. It took two years for me to find the strength of voice to make the music and the words all fit together. Sadly, Mason has since passed on and will never get to hear it. His parents, Chuck and Tracey, have been very kind to still listen to it and give it their approval.
The song itself is a culmination of ideas that I have been coming to for years, I think. From a production standpoint there were so many parts that were involved to make it the finished, lavish sounding piece that it is.
The miracle I refer to in the lyrics isn’t just one miracle, it’s all of them together. The complete unlikelihood of our being here at all, and the miracle of what love and compassion can accomplish in this world. One person at a time.
If you would like more information on the Lindley family, and the good works that they do, please surf over to www.myspace.com/nrockunited1 or www.masonlindleymiraclefoundation.org/music-49.html
BADLANDS RAIN – On the edge of the Pine Ridge Indian reservation in the state of South Dakota there once sat (and may still sit, for all I know) a dark and dusty bar called The Wagon Wheel. I saw it on my first trip there to spend time with my dear brother, Charlie White Elk. It struck me immediately how insidious it’s presence was, boldly stating it’s greed by catering exclusively to a clientele whose single biggest problem is an 85% addiction rate. These are a fierce and proud people. Those that are left stand against the erosion of over 150 years of abuse, cruelty, and an extinction agenda designed to separate them from their land, their language, and all they hold sacred. A bitter “gift” left to them by their new landlords.
The music, to match the subject matter, is fierce as well, and the band played it hard and with real power. Pat Heath, in particular, captured the emotion I wanted perfectly with his absolutely blistering guitar solo.
TRAVELLER – While it is the title track, it’s also the last song I wrote for the album. I had the title and knew what I wanted it to be about, but was really taking a long time putting the chords together. This is the only song on the album that was written the way we used to write a lot of songs in Tyketto. I came up with the music, words and general arrangement, but only as an acoustic piece. Just myself and a guitar. I then turned it over to the band and said, “Okay, guys, she’s all yours. Be nice to her and make her rock!” And they did.
The backing vocals came last of all. I was walking through town after a full day in the studio when they just hit me as if they had always been there. It’s certainly an autobiographical song, touching on all the emotions of we “outsiders” that tend to move about a lot, looking for home.
RESTLESS BLOOD- This was one that I had written for Tyketto. We had even rehearsed it and played it at sound checks on the road. But for some reason, the guys were never quite happy with it and it got shelved.
The new band got it right away and sunk their teeth into it to get all the right touches in place. I think it was Tony’s idea to come up with the “whoa” section, which, coupled with it’s great break down drum beat and exceptional guitar solo, turned it into a slice of melodic rock heaven.
THAT’S WHAT SHE SAYS- There’s nothing more motivational and inspiring than a new love. That’s what this song is about. How someone that loves you makes you try new things and believe that anything is possible.
I wrote this one after “Fearless” had been finished and had even played it with the Vaughn band a few times just to test it out on our audience, the way bands used to do it. They responded in the resounding positive, so I’ve held onto it ever since, waiting for the next album to put it on. At 2 minutes and 51 seconds it is the shortest song I have ever recorded. But when it’s exactly right, why add stuff you don’t need?
THE TOUCH OF YOUR HAND – Written about something that I know only too well. The problems and fears that go with a long distance relationship. The words you always know how to say, but hours after the conversation is over when it’s far too late. The need for contact that we all have. And the beating and battering all of our souls take over time. Although this song is very personal, I have come to think of it in terms of a real band song. Tony and Steve were so attentive to the delicate tones that it needed and they both played so beautifully on it. Lee is a great enough drummer to know exactly how to let a song breath when it needs to. For me, this is Tony’s best performance on the album.
LIFTED – A really good argument for keeping all of your old tapes and ideas on file. The germ of this song started about 14 years ago when Charlie Calv and I got together to try and write some songs after his band, Shotgun Symphony, had toured with Tyketto. All these years later I’m going through those tapes and I hear the song inside the loose idea that we had recorded. This is my most personal song on the album. In it I’m talking about my battle with writer’s block, and probably depression, from time to time. To put it plainly, it’s a call out for rescue. My thanks to an old friend, Johnny Larsen, who came in on short notice and played such an emotional piano part for us.
THE WARRIOR’S WAY – Originally I was writing this one to be a song for Bob Catley. After touring with him a couple of years ago I really got interested in trying to write some themes that were more grand and epic. I thought this song was going to be too “metal” for me to use. I was very wrong. It’s just another side of me that’s always been there.
It’s both a fantasy and reality piece. In my head I saw the Samurai, the Masai, and the American Indian Dog Soldiers. The Dog Soldiers were men that took a spear, tied a length of sinew or rope to one end, wrapped the other end around their ankles and then planted the spear into the ground while their enemy came charging at them, definitively showing their bravery, and saying “I will not be moved”. I think there are times in all of our lives when we are called upon to do that. Best of all, this song rocks hard and is going to be a great one to do live.
THE MEASURE OF A MAN – Anyone that knows me knows that I am a huge lover of American music and all of it’s roots. I am a big fan of Bruce Springsteen, John Mellencamp, John Hiatt, Paul Thorn, Tom Waits and the Black Crowes, just to name a few. So I had to indulge myself and write one pure slice of Americana for the album. The part that surprised even myself is that I ended up playing all the guitars on this track. All the guys were really encouraging about the idea, or I never would have had the guts to try. It’s a simple song, but since when is that a bad thing?
THINK OF ME IN THE FALL – This one has been around since I made that home demo long ago after I left Tyketto and went into musical hibernation. Most of the songs on that demo ended up on the “Soldiers And Sailors” cd, but there were too many ballads to put in one place, so I’ve kept this one hidden for years. Several friends that have heard it have always asked whatever happened to it so I’m really pleased that it has finally found a home. I remember perfectly the day that I wrote it. It was on a pristine autumn day where a soft, warm breeze was moving the trees outside where I lived in Atlanta. It seemed like each leaf was made of gold and dancing just for me. The words are being sung by a person that has passed away and is saying things he wants the love he has left behind to know. Not to cry, but not to forget me either. It’s how I would like to be remembered when my time comes, as that soft breeze that springs up out of nowhere and touch es my lover’s face and seems to say, “I’m here, and I’m watching over you”.
DEATH OF THE TIGER – And now the longest song I have ever recorded. An absolute epic! I’ve always wanted to do a thundering, Led Zeppelin-like piece. Very moody and dark and threatening. It’s about the various forms of the vanishing tiger. The lord of its wilderness, the sadness of it’s captivity, and the loneliness of it’s death. I’m not sure how my fans will take this one, but I stand by it as one of the best, most involved pieces of music I have ever done. We threw in the kitchen sink! From slightly out of tune guitars, to stomping, thundering drums, to backwards guitars, to all kinds of cool keyboard sounds and string lines. Nothing was out of bounds. Originally it was going to fade but I couldn’t bring myself to end it so I left it as it was. I think Johnny’s keyboards were the last thing standing.
BETTER BY FAR – All the recorded silliness at the beginning of this song was taken from various tapes made during our rehearsals. We laughed a lot and only took the work seriously enough to get it done. That’s what I love about this band the most. Everybody knows just how to push and pull. You can hear how much fun we were having. The song itself is simply an emotional “farewell for now”. It’s my fantasy that, at the end of all things there is a warm campfire where I will see all of the people that I have lost track of or who have left this earth before me. We will meet again at the end of this road and share our stories. All of us weary travellers. And we’ll have some really good ones, too, I bet. If there’s any bit of personal philosophy that I wanted to put across in the song it’s this: Nothing matters more than friendship and family. It’s the first rung of any ladder that we climb, and the net beneath us when we fall.
Courtesy of www.frontiers.it