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Andy Vaughan & the Driveline

By Gary Wien


Andy Vaughan & the Driveline are a band from Richmond, Virginia that's a blend of rockabilly, honky-tonk, and old fashioned country music. The relatively new band started towards the end of 2010 when Vaughan left the group Hamburger James that he fronted for four years. He lined up steel guitarist Tim Stanton, drummer Chip Farnsworth, lead guitarist Jerry Renshaw, and bass player Erik Kutzler and formed The Driveline. The band will be heading to the area for a pair of shows in support of their debut album, "Long Gone."

The two shows are:

Saturday, August 13th
Brooklyn Rod and Gun, Brooklyn, NY

Sunday, August 14th
8:30 PM
Roxy & Dukes, Dunellen, NJ

NewJerseyStage.com spoke with Vaughan via email from the road to learn a bit more about the band.

You're heading up to New York and New Jersey for a pair of shows next week. Have you played the area before?
We played at Rodeo Bar in NYC about a month ago, and that was our first show in the area.

What was the reception like? The area isn't known as the best for country music, yet country acts seem to do very well here.
Our reception was great! People appreciate authentic, honest music everywhere, and the Northeast is no exception. And it seems that there is actually a pretty strong scene for roots-oriented music in the area.

How do you feel about getting out of your comfort zone and hitting new areas?
We're all for it! The only way for a new independent band to get known is to get out there and play as many shows as possible in as many towns as possible. There's no better feeling than rolling into a new city and playing to a room full of strangers, and leaving with a bunch of new fans and friends.

Is Virginia your main base for shows? How often do you do road trips?
Yes, VA is our main base. We're in Richmond, and also play around the DC and VA Beach areas fairly often. We're a very new band, only having been playing out for about 9 months now, and we started branching out of state about two months ago. We have done a few long weekends in NC, MD and NY, and are now in the middle of a 11 day tour hitting the South, Midwest, and Northeast.

Who are some of your musical influences? Are there any artists you regularly cover in the show or is it strictly originals?
Our biggest influences would have to be Buck Owens, Merle Haggard, Johnny Paycheck, and Waylon Jennings. There's definitely a strong Bakersfield sound to a lot of our music, but everything from Hank Williams-era country and Western Swing through the outlaw country and country soul sounds of the 70's is in there too. We focus on originals, but always throw at least one or two classic covers in a set as well.

I noticed the band is pretty active on Facebook with the way you interract with your fans. How do you see the role of social networks these days in expanding a band's base? Do you like being able to connect with your audience in this way?
Absolutely! Social networks are a vital tool for bands, especially independent bands like us. It's a great way to connect with people and interact with fans, engage them in what we're doing, keep them updated on shows, and on and on. Plus it's a great way to network with other bands as well. We even hooked up several gigs on our current tour by posting on Craigslist in the cities we wanted to play, and having venues and other local bands get in touch with us.


For more information on the band visit http://www.andyvaughanmusic.com


Gary Wien has been covering the arts since 2001 and has had work published with Jersey Arts, Elmore Magazine, Princeton Magazine, Backstreets and other publications. He is a three-time winner of the Asbury Music Award for Top Music Journalist and the author of Beyond the Palace (the first book on the history of rock and roll in Asbury Park) and Are You Listening? The Top 100 Albums of 2001-2010 by New Jersey Artists. In addition, he runs New Jersey Stage and the online radio station The Penguin Rocks. He can be contacted at gary@newjerseystage.com.


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