“This is a one-off single, the song felt like it lived in its own bubble because of the environment that we are in now. I didn’t see this as part of a collection, this is almost like an album’s worth of ideas or music in one song for me and it really addresses the life we are living right now and I couldn’t really see any companion pieces for it; you know?”
Ben Vaughn is a multi-instrumentalist, radio personality, songwriter and composer who grew up in Southern New Jersey and currently calls the West Coast his home. Some of Vaughn’s credits include writing the theme songs for popular TV shows such as “That ‘70sShow” and “3rd Rock From the Sun” as well as 12 albums and much more but his recent “One-off single” release called “Dancing In My Mind” truly stands by itself both in content and writing.
“Dancing In My Mind,” the single and the video are about to come out; it was kind of a spur of the moment thing,” began Ben as heexplained how it came to be. “I wrote this song really quick as I was observing lockdown behavior. I was really impressed by how people were dealing with it and how they were escaping into their own minds and being creative and a lot of the things that I saw showing up on social media; expressions of people singing songs or dancing or whatever. I was just really impressed by that and the song came to me really quick and then I decided to shoot a fairly ridiculous video to go along with it; proof that lighting and wardrobe can hide a multitude of sins (laughs).”
“The song came to me as I was driving through downtown L.A. on a Friday night and I was driving by these dance clubs that usually have long lines in front of them and they were dark,” he continued. “The streets were deserted and the clubs were closed and I thought, wow; I imagined those people who are usually in that line were at home in their apartments with disco balls dancing to music and just waiting this whole thing out and it was a very strong image in my mind. Finding joy during isolation; it just came to me that way.”
In a recent press release, Vaughn was quoted as saying, “This song is about the triumph of the human spirit. I know that sounds grandiose but during these tough times I’ve been impressed by what I’ve witnessed in many people,” the question is; why Grandiose?
“That’s a fancy way of putting it,” he said with a laugh. “The modest career that I’ve had and how I feel about myself; speaking in eloquent terms is usually not my first lexicon to reach for but I really believe in this case that, that kind of phrase is not hyperbole in this case. What we’ve been though in the last two years and what people have done to survive this and stay sane is really impressive to me. The interesting thing is that we have no idea what is the right or wrong approach. We have no idea so it is up to the individual and their own comfort zone; you look at some people and you think, boy are they going overboard and then you look at others and think, boy they need to be more careful (laughs); we don’t know. This thing is so new and it keeps changing and our approach is that we have to be impressionable right now and observe and follow what we feel comfortable with. That is one of the strangest things about it; the ambivalence, this is a very strange time.”
Like so many others, the events of 2020 and the still lingering effects have caused havoc for those who make a living in the entertainment industry. Vaughn is no different but this new single and a soon to be released album were spawned during this difficult time.
“I had a lot of things planned for 2020, I was supposed to be doing a very long tour in Spain and playing a bunch of U.S. shows and BOOM, everything got cancelled. I didn’t know what to do with my creative energy for a little while and I was like, oh my God, wow, all of my plans have been tossed aside. Then the songs started coming to me and I have a home studio, I’m a multi-instrumentalist so I just started recording and I played all of the instruments and the next thing I know, I had a full album that will be coming out in the Spring. “Dancing In My Mind” was one of those songs but it just didn’t feel like part of the collection (laughs); it was too much on its own to fit into anything. The album is called “The World of Ben Vaughn” and it’s due out near the end of April and I’m really excited about it, it really is an interesting record and I’m playing all of the instruments myself; I haven’t done a one-man record in a long time and I love working that way. On this single, “Dancing In My Mind” I’m playing all of the instruments too.”
Ah, a one-man record has its advantages; but what about reproducing it live? Turns out that he reaches back to his East Coast roots to make it happen; even poking a bit of fun at himself and that “Jersey” accent.
“My band, The Ben Vaughn Quintet is located in Philadelphia; I’m from Jersey, I grew up outside of Camden and used to play CityGardens all of the time; I loved that club. If you tell people you’re from Jersey they immediately think you’re from North Jersey near New York City and right away it’s; oh Joisey (laughs) and I’m like, no, no, no it’s more like Jursey or even a “C” because we have this lazy thing that we do like Jer-Cee, wurter; boil some wurter because I wanna have caufee (laughs). That’s how we speak and I love it because there is a relaxed manner to it, it doesn’t have the hyper-activity that a North Jersey accent has; we have a slower, more laidback kind of sound to our accent. When I was growing up, there was a lot of farm country down around Pitman, Glassboro, Deptford; it was all farms.”
As was mentioned prior, Vaughn is a radio personality whose program keeps him busy as well. On the program he plays music reminiscent of the old AM radio days where every genre and style are represented; hence the show’s title.
“The Many Moods of Ben Vaughn,” can be found on the information super-highway and wherever you find podcasts,” he said onceagain with a laugh; “I’m out there. There is a radio station out here in Joshua Tree, CA that puts my radio shows up as podcasts so you can download it. I’m on WXPN in Philly and on 28 different stations in the country and if you like a lot of different types of music, you’ll love this show because I’m all mover the place.”
That's it for this week! Please continue to support live and original music and until next week....ROCK ON!
This week's event listings
Al's Airport Inn 636 Bear Tavern Road West Trenton (609) 883-5252 Sat. 5 p.m. Joe Hutchinson Mon. 5 p.m. Joe Hutchinson Tues. 7 p.m. Brian Elliot Wed. 7 p.m. Kindred Spirit DuoBill's Olde Tavern 2694 Nottingham Way Hamilton (609) 586-0192 Mon. 7 p.m. Trivia Night Tues./Wed. 8 p.m. Karaoke w/ DJ "Super" Dave Curtis Ages 21+Bowman's Tavern 1600 River Road New Hope, PA (215) 862-2972 Thurs. 6:30 p.m. Fermenters Fri. (5:30 p.m.) Bennett Lee (8 p.m.) Bob Egan Sat. 7 p.m. Dave Dales Trio Sun. (12 p.m.) Larry Tamanini (6 p.m.) Lorenzo Mon. 6 p.m. Liz Du Four Tues. 6 p.m. Chris Giakis Wed. 6 p.m. Andy PrescottBroken Goblet Brewing 2500 State Road Bensalem, PA (267) 812-5653 Thurs. 7 p.m. Mike Estabrook Fri. 8:30 p.m. The Jay Grosse Birthday Jam feat. Cara Cartney, Mike Estabrook, Greg McGarvey, Mike Lock Sat. 8:30 p.m. "First Saturdays" w/ Bridge Beat Duo Wed. 7 p.m. Trivia Hosted by Righteous JollyCandlelight Lounge 24 Passaic Street Trenton (609) 695-9612 Thurs. 6 p.m. Thursday Night Blues Jam Hosted by The Mojo Gypsies. $5 (Includes hot buffet)Catch A Rising Star (Hyatt Regency Princeton) 102 Carnagie Center Princeton (781) 568-1471 Fri./Sat. 7:30 p.m. Eric Potts. $23.69, Doors open at 7 p.m.Chickie's & Pete's 183 US Highway 130 North Bordentown (609) 298-9182 Fri./Sat. 8 p.m. DJ Entertainment City Streets 510 Highway 130 South East Windsor (609) 426-9400 Fri. 9 p.m. DJ Big JaeClubhouse at Mountain View (The Patio) 850 Bear Tavern Road Ewing (609) 771-0400 Fri. 6 p.m. Honey Spot BlvdCOARadio.com 125 South Main Street Hightstown (609) 241-7103 Fri. 7 p.m. "Danny Coleman's Got The Blues" Sat. 3 p.m. “Rock On Radio Indie Hour” Sun. 7 p.m. "Rock On Radio" feat. Aqualung Records 5th Anniversary w/ Jeff Fiedler / Interview w/ Ben VaughnCooper's Riverview 50 Riverview Plaza Trenton (609) 393-7300 Thurs. 9 p.m. Club Night feat. Rotating DJs (inside event) Fri. (5 p.m.) "It's 5 O'clock Somewhere Happy Hour" (8 p.m.) 80’s Undercover Sat. (7 p.m.) Talking In Cursive (9 p.m.) Club Night “Pajama Party” Sun. 11 a.m. " Sunday Latin Jazz Brunch" w/ Victor Tarassov Tues. 7 p.m. Karaoke w/ Michael Hoffman Wed. 7 p.m. Blues Jam / Disco Hustle Night All Events Ages 21+Cross Pollination Gallery 2 North Union Street Lambertville (609) 213-6734 Fri. 5 p.m. "Friday Happy Hour." (Talk art, wine and musicians who bring instruments)Curran’s Irish Inn 1909 Bristol Pike Bensalem, PA (215) 245-1800 Thurs. 7 p.m. Music BingoDacey's Pub 215 West Philadelphia Avenue Morrisville, PA (215) 295-4838 Fri. 6 p.m. Acoustic Music Night Wed. 8 p.m. QuizzoDadz Bar and Grill 744 Main Street Lumberton (609)267-4344 Thurs. (7 p.m.) Open Mic w/ Jimmy Mannix (9 p.m.) DJ Soul Kitchen Fri. (4:30 p.m.) Happy Hour w/ DJ Deuce (8 p.m.) Chuck's Alibi Sat. 9 p.m. DJ Millionz Tues. 7 p.m. Open Mic Hosted by Edgar AndersonFriends Bar & Grill 2825 South Eagle Road Newtown, PA (215) 504-7005 Fri. 9 p.m. BreakEvenGleason's Bar 6700 Mill Creek Road Levittown, PA (215) 943-4781 Thurs. 7 p.m. Music Bingo / “Ladies Night” Fri. (6 p.m.) "Happy Hour" (8 p.m.) Finster Sat. 8 p.m. HindsightHopewell Valley Vineyards 46 Yard Avenue Pennington (609) 737-4465 Fri. 4 p.m. "Music & Merlot" feat. (5 p.m.) Rick Winow Sat. (1 p.m.) FOGLight (5 p.m.) "Music & Merlot" feat. Modern Rewind Sun. 1:30 p.m. "Jazzy Sundays" feat. Frank CervantesHurricane Jacks Bar and Grill 7759 New Falls Road Levittown, PA (267) 914-4517 Thurs. 7:30 p.m. Music Bingo Fri. 6 p.m. Happy Hour w/ Johnny Betz 9 p.m. Troublemakerz Sat. (2 p.m.) Benefit for Chuck Ward (9 p.m.) Last Call Mon. 7 p.m. Motown Monday w/ Paula & Sam Tues. 9 p.m. Karaoke w/ Paula & Sam Irish Rover Station House 1033 South Bellevue Avenue Langhorne, PA (215) 970-5412 Sun. 4 p.m. "Acoustic Sunday" feat. Ed PackerIron Plow Vineyards 26750 Mount Pleasant Road Columbus (732) 306-9111 Fri. 6:30 p.m. Spoondrift Sat. 6:30 p.m. Jim GavenIron Plow Vineyards Tasting Room 61 High Street Mt. Holly (732) 306-9111 Fri. 6:30 p.m. Wayne Palmer & FriendsIvy Tavern 3108 S. Broad Street, Hamilton (609) 888-1435 Thurs. 9:30 p.m. Karaoke Fri. 8 p.m. “Comedy at the Ivy” Hosted by PJ Stansbury feat. Mario Zapata, Erica Kuhararski, Nick Z, Dan Regan. $10, Doors open at 7:30 p.m. Sun. 6 p.m. Karaoke Latinos All shows 21+ John & Peter's 96 S. Main Street New Hope, Pa (215) 862-5981 Sat. 9 p.m.Part Time Custodian Mon. 9 p.m. Open Mic (Sign-ups start at 8 p.m.) Wed. 9 p.m. The Invitational All shows 21+ Killarney's Publick House 1644 Whitehorse-Mercerville Road Hamilton (609) 586-1166 Thurs. 6 p.m. Mark Sacco Sat. 9 p.m. DJ Dan Sun. 10 a.m. Sunday BrunchLaurita Winery 85 Archertown Road New Egypt (609) 752-0200 Thurs. 7 p.m. The Best of Laurita Idol Fri. 7 p.m. Country Line Dancing Sat. 7 p.m. 90’s Dance Party Wed. 12 p.m. Girls Night Out Ages 21+Logan Inn 9 South Main Street New Hope, PA (215) 862-2300 Thurs. 7 p.m. Jack Furlong & Pat Kerssen Fri. 6 p.m. BD Lenz Sat. 8:30 p.m. Springlight McGuinn's Place 1781 Brunswick Avenue Lawrence (609) 392-0599 Tues. 9 p.m. Karaoke Ages 21+ McStews Irish Sports Pub 5316 New Falls Road Levittown, PA (215) 949-9570 Sat. 9 p.m. Steal Your Face Tues. 7:30 p.m. Trivia Night Wed. 9 p.m. Karaoke w/ Paula and SamMore Than Q 13 Klines Court Lambertville (609) 773-0072 Sat. 2 p.m. Jet Weston & His Atomic Ranch HandsMusic Mountain Theater 1483 Route 179 Lambertville (609)397-3337 Fri. 8 p.m. “Noises Off.” $25 Sat. 3 p.m. / 8 p.m. “Noises Off” $25 Sun. 3 p.m. “Noises Off” $25Naked Brewing Company 212 Mill Street Bristol, PA (267) 544-7129 Sat. 11 a.m. “Acoustic” Weekend Bunch feat. (!2 p.m.) Fly On The Wall Sun. 11 a.m. Weekend Brunch Tues. 7 p.m. TriviaNew Hope Winery 6123 Lower York Road New Hope, PA (215) 794-2331 Sun. 1 p.m. Little Black DressNewtown Brewing Company 103 Penns Trail Newtown, PA (215) 944-8609 Thurs. 7:30 p.m. Trivia Night Sat. 6 p.m. Erin McAndrew Sun. 2 p.m. BoondasharkNick's Roast Beef 4501 Woodhaven Road West Philadelphia, PA (215) 637-5151 Thurs. 7 p.m. Trivia Fri. 9 p.m. Jumper Sat. 9 p.m. DJ JOATNottingham Tavern 9 Mercer Street Hamilton Square (609) 587-6623 Thurs. (7 p.m.) Danny Coleman’s Rock On Radio “Happy Hour” Hosted by Danny Coleman feat. Music by Rick Winow (9:30 pm.) Karaoke w/ Super Dave Curtis Sat. 9:30 p.m. Spellbound Ages 21+ Oldestone Restaurant 15 South Main Street New Hope, PA (215) 862-7044 Thurs. (6 p.m.) Scott Gurney (Deco Bar) Fri. (6 p.m.) Tour de Force Duo (Deco Bar) (7 p.m.) Springlight (Jazz Lounge) Sat. (6 p.m.) Lisa Bouchelle (7 p.m.) MG3 (Jazz Lounge)Old Town Pub 135 Farnsworth Avenue Bordentown (609) 291-9232 Thurs. 7 p.m. Quizzoholics Trivia Palmer Square 40 Nassau Street Princeton Thurs. (4 p.m.) "Skating On The Square" $10/$12 (Includes skate rental) Fri. (4 p.m.) "Skating On The Square" $10/$12 (Includes skate rental) Sat.12 p.m./4 p.m. "Skating On the Square" $10/$12 (Includes skate rental) Sun 12 p.m./4 p.m. "Skating On the Square" $10/$12 (Includes skate rental)Patriots Crossing 1339 River Road Titusville (609) 737-2780 Thurs. 8 p.m. Open Mic Night Sat. 8 p.m. MLC BandPete's Steak House 523 Whitehorse Avenue Hamilton (609) 585-8008 Fri. 9 p.m. Kindred Spirit Revere Restaurant 802 River Road Ewing (609) 882-6365 Thurs. 6 p.m. Bad Hombres Fri. 6 p.m. John Rodden Sat. 6 p.m. Danny Lynch ProjectSecond Sin Brewing Company 1500 Grundy Lane Bristol, PA (267) 812-5251 Thurs. 4 p.m. TriviaSparky World-Famous Beer Garden 4333 New Falls Road Levittown, PA (215) 943-2321 Thurs. 9 p.m. Karaoke w/ DJ Dana Fri. 9 p.m. DJ Dance Parties Sun. 7 p.m. Open Mic Hosted by Cara Cartney Mon. 9 p.m. Game Night Hosted by Kid Dalton Tues. 7 p.m. Johnny Betz Wed. 8 p.m. Dynamic DuosSpellbound Brewing 10 Lippincott Lane #12 Mt. Holly (609) 832-0077 Fri. 7 p.m. Modern Mojo Sat. 2 p.m. “Dana’s Having a Boy”Stars & Stripes Harley Davidson 600 South Flowers Mill Road Langhorne, PA (215) 752-9400 Sat. 10 a.m. “Biker Breakfast”1675 Spirits 2685 Bristol Pike Bensalem, PA (215) 645-1445 Sat. 6 p.m. Tour de Force DuoTankard Pub 440 Keim Boulevard Burlington (609) 306-5079 Thurs. 7 p.m. The WilliamsboyTara's Tavern 1 Cookstown-New Egypt Road, Wrightstown (609) 286-2300 Fri. 9 p.m. Zack Trucksess Sat. 9 p.m. AmptonsTavern On The Lake 101 Main Street Hightstown (609) 426-9345 Wed. 9 p.m. KaraokeTemperance House 5 South State Street Newtown, PA (215) 944-8050 Thurs. 7 p.m. Open Session Blues Hosted by Steve Guyger Tues. 8 p.m. Trivia w/ Righteous Jolly Wed. 7 p.m. Open Mic Night w/ Cara CartneyTGI Fridays 3535 U.S. Route 1 North #275 Princeton (609) 520-0378 Fri. 5 p.m. Matt Cook Sun. 1 p.m. Edison WilsonThe Bar at the Lambertville House 32 Bridge Street Lambertville (609) 397-0200 Fri. 6 p.m. Christine HavrillaThe Buck Hotel 1200 Buck Road Feasterville, PA (215) 396-2002 Thurs. 7 p.m. Kevin Kirk Fri. 7 p.m. Love Junk Sat. 9 p.m. FM Tues. 6 p.m. Danny LynchThe Cool Cricket 216 Burlington Street Fieldsboro (609) 291-9110 Thurs. 8 p.m. DJ Ran D Fri. 8 p.m. Karaoke Sat. 9 p.m. UnleashedThe Dubliner 34 North Main Street New Hope, PA (215) 693-1816 Fri. 7 p.m. Gerry Timlin Sat. 7 p.m. JB Rocks Sun. 3 p.m. "Traditional Irish Session" Hosted byThe Five Four Bar & Grill 8919 New Falls Road Levittown, PA (215) 547-5525 Thurs. 9 p.m. Karaoke w/ Paula and Sam Fri. 9 p.m. Bigg Romeo Sat. 9 p.m. SparePartsThe Ivy Inn 248 Nassau Street Princeton (609) 921-8555 Thurs. 10 p.m. Fri. 10 p.m. The Diablo Sandwich Band Sat. 10 p.m. DJ Slick Tues. 8 p.m. Quizzo w/ Bob E Luv Wed. 10 p.m. Total Request w/ DJ Rockin' RonThe Morrisville Tavern 376 West Trenton Avenue Morrisville, PA (215) 295-5310 Mon. 7 p.m. Karaoke w/ DJ Tim Tues. 7 p.m. Open Mic Wed. 7 p.m. Trivia NightThe Sycamore Grill 255 North Sycamore Street Newtown, PA (215) 908-6326 Fri. 8 p.m. Danny Lynch Project Sat. 8 p.m. PlushThe Union Firehouse 18 Washington Street Mount Holly (609) 288-6491 Fri. 7 p.m. Al Snyder & FriendsThe Union House 19 East Union Street Burlington Fri. 9:30 p.m. Dave MurrayTir Na Nog 1324 Hamilton Avenue Trenton (609) 392-2554 Fri. 9 p.m. The Williamsboy Sun. 3 p.m. "Irish Sessions" All Shows 21+ Trenton Social 449 South Broad Street Trenton (609) 989-7777 Thurs. 5 p.m. "Happy Hour Throwback Thursday" Sat. 6 p.m. Live Music (TBA) Mon. 6 p.m. "Monday Night Karaoke" Hosted by Sweets Tues. 8 p.m. Open Mic Night w/ Tobias & Lea (Sign-ups at 7:30 p.m.)Vault Brewing Company 10 South Main Street Yardley, PA (267) 573-4291 Fri. 7 p.m. Brian Elliot Duo Sat. 7 p.m. John Sheridan TrioWorking Dog Winery 610 Windsor Perrineville Road Hightstown (609) 371-6000 Sat. 1 p.m. Ronnie Brandt Sun. 12 p.m. Kevin McGowanWWFM 89.1 FM HD2 Radio MCCC Old Trenton Road West Windsor Jazzon2.org Mon. 7 p.m. "Danny Coleman's Got The Blues" Danny Coleman is a veteran musician and writer from central New Jersey. He hosts a weekly radio program entitled “Rock On Radio” airing Sunday evenings at 7:000pm EST on multiple internet radio outlets where he features indie/original bands and solo artists.