Vincent Vaughan is a recording artist from a little place called Mullinahone in the county of Tipperary. When it comes to choosing a debut single, the choice can often be a tough one for a singer. After all, the world is full of amazing songs. Two rules-of-thumb, however, that are well worth being guided by if you decide to introduce yourself with a cover version, are pick a brilliant song, and then, crucially... do it justice. With his decision to release Rodney Crowell's 1989 single Many A Long and Lonesome Highway as his first record, Vincent Vaughan has picked a class song, and he has put his heart into it too.
Released on Vincent's birthday as it happens - the song is also the first taste of a long-player project already in the works.
Written by Rodney Crowell and Will Jennings, and produced by Crowell and Tony Brown, MANY A LONG AND LONESOME HIGHWAY was the lead-off track from Crowell's Keys To the Highway album, his sixth studio collection (released October 1989). The single climbed all the way to the #3 position on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks chart in January 1990, spending 26 weeks in total on the chart. It also went all the way to the top of the RPM Country Tracks chart in Canada. The Keys to The Highway collection was the follow-up to Crowell's iconic 1988 Diamonds & Dirt LP, the collection that produced all five of Crowell's #1 hits.
For Vincent, deciding to cut a Rodney Crowell song as his debut single was made easy by the fact that - as well as being a long-time fan of the Texan - he's also spent time in the great man's presence. Back in 2018, the opportunity happened to come Vincent's way to attend a songwriting workshop with Rodney in California. And not only that, but Vincent has also shared a stage and a mic with the two-time Grammy winner. So, choosing this song as his first single is also a respectful tip-of-the-hat to a man and an artist for whom Vincent has the highest respect, has long admired, and has always been inspired
That West Coast songwriting workshop was also the catalyst for what would become Vincent's debut album, eventually bringing Vincent's way the chance to perform with players who have backed figures as illustrious as Johnny Cash, Robert Earl Keen, and Jerry Jeff Walker. But that is a story for another day.
While there's palpable sadness in the original version, Vaughan takes the song and makes it his own, you can almost feel the admiration behind the words sung. People may compare but the real craft consists in taking the track and bringing something into it only you as an artist can. And this is exactly what Vaughan does here. Smooth country track, the story drawing the listener in, the vocal delivery with the right dose of emotions and the right tone for the chosen style. Is there anything more you can ask for?
"And every night's a new beginning
Everyday the world keeps spinning"