Tunes at Twilight starts second half with Missouri native Idgy Vaughn

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Flaming red hair and cowboy boots define the image of Idgy Vaughn. But this Missouri-born singer-songwriter's reflections on her life experiences leave people remembering much more than her looks.

Vaughn opens the fall season of the Tunes at Twilight series at the Common Pleas Courthouse gazebo at 6:30 p.m. Friday. Larry Underberg, the talent scout for the series, said critics refer to Vaughn's music as twisted Tex-Americana, but that there is a definite country flavor to her sound.

"She was something unique and sounded like something the Tunes crowd would enjoy," he said.

Her songs have a contemporary country feel, but her high lonesome voice gives the music a traditional country sound. Her life itself sounds like a story from an old country song, and she uses her experiences as a theme for her music.

Vaughn went from being a single mother in Quincy, Ill., to a truck stop waitress in Buda, Texas, and ended up as a recording artist out of Austin, Texas. Her job as a waitress actually spurred her music career. She met Rodney Waggoner, a friend and mentor whom she later referred to as her "adopted grandpa," at the truck stop in Buda.

Waggoner encouraged her to pursue music and funded her debut album, "Origin Story," with money he won from the Texas lottery.

"Her history is incredible. It's improbable, but a very rich story," Underberg said. "When people know her history, it makes the songs mean more."

Vaughn's autobiographical album broke Top 40 on the official Americana chart and she has been touring the country since its release. Her performance at Tunes at Twilight on Friday will be her first visit to Cape Girardeau. She will play a preview show tonight at Stooges in Jackson and a concert at Underberg House Concerts on Saturday.

The series' next performance, on Aug. 22, will be Ode Hazelwood, an experimental group from Nashville, Tenn. Other upcoming performers include Bruce Zimmerman, The Cantrells, Adrianne and Brother Henry.

Additional information about Idgy Vaughn can be found on her Web site at The rain location for Tunes at Twilight is the Rose Theatre on Southeast Missouri State University campus.

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