BWW Review: Tara Vaughan: SHE ROCKS! the Omaha Community Playhouse
Tara Vaughan, a young, fresh singer-songwriter is rocking the Omaha Community Playhouse with a cornucopia of hits from all female artists crossing the decades. As Vaughan mentions in her set, women songwriters didn't come into their own until the late 1950s, early 1960s. According to historical information available online, back then most music was written and produced by a group of record labels, composers, and producers all collaborating in New York City's Brill Building. Women worked as part of a team, commonly with a husband.
Most people are familiar with iconic Carole King who started out writing with her husband, Gerry Goffin in the '70s. To me, Tara Vaughan is the Carole King of this decade. In terms of her keyboarding, writing, and singing, Vaughan has the same meaningful, melodious, and captivating music.
So, while I enjoyed Vaughan's interpretations of energetic, angry rock such as Heart's "Barracuda," or Janis Joplin's "Piece of My Heart," I feel her sweet spot lies in Stevie Nicks' "Landslide," or even "Dream a Little Dream of Me" by Mama Cass. To tell you the truth, though, my favorite version of Vaughan is when she sings her own material. "Blame it On My Youth," is every bit as good as any of the songs written by the songwriters of yesteryear. And since it's her own creation, she puts all of her heart and soul into it.
Vaughan is gifted with a mellow, throaty voice that reminds one of honey and whiskey...sweet but with a bit of a bite that leaves you breathless. Along with that inimitable voice, her personality is so warm, you are drawn into her world. It was family and friends night when I attended, but there were no strangers. Vaughan made each one of us family and friends.
Between the songs, Vaughn chatted with the crowd relating anecdotes from her life and about the female artists ("badass women") whose songs she was performing. These women became the nucleus of SHE ROCKS when producer/creative consultant Billy McGuigan encouraged her to develop her own show.
McGuigan appeared on stage to sing a duet, "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" with Vaughan, perhaps sending a message that there is no stopping Tara Vaughan as she continues to make her way into the music world.
In a surprise announcement on social media, Vaughn revealed that she is booked for a three week run at the Omaha Community Playhouse next June. She will be accompanied by her remarkable five piece band, Jess Errett, Ryan and Matt McGuigan (Billy's brothers), Max Meyer, and Adam Stoltenberg. They may not have the stunning stage design from SHE KILLS MONSTERS that is currently running at the Playhouse, but their show is sure to sell fast and sell big. This is something you might want to write down in your calendar.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Omaha Community Playhouse