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Vicki Vaughn

Vicki Vaughn

Vicki Vaughn

For bassist Vickie Vaughn, music is all about home. Even a casual fan of the reigning International Bluegrass Music Association Bass Player of the Year knows just how important Kentucky, family, and home are to Vaughn. Between them, they’ve colored every aspect of the bassist-singer-songwriter’s lifelong career in music.

Born and raised near Paducah, Vaughn grew up singing and playing bass at churches, community events, and a local country revue show in western Kentucky. She moved to Nashville as a teenager to study at Belmont University, utilizing her college years – as so many Nashville-based undergrads do – as a foot in the door of Music City and Music Row. A little more than ten years ago, at one of her first IBMA World of Bluegrass appearances, she played a short set with the Vickie Vaughn Band as part of a Belmont showcase. In the fall of 2023, over a decade since, she bested a handful of her own heroes – Todd Phillips, Mark Schatz, Mike Bub, and perhaps her single most important influence, Missy Raines – to win the Bass Player of the Year trophy.

The audience that night – and surely her co-nominees – at the IBMA Bluegrass Music Awards roared as her name was announced, almost shaking the entire performing arts center. As a member of two musically opposite, hugely popular bluegrass bands – traditional standard bearers High Fidelity and trailblazing female ensemble Della Mae – Vaughn demonstrates how a boundaryless, loving personal community can be reflected in her professional network.

Vickie Vaughn, as evidenced by the cheers of the crowd, is a friend to everyone in roots music.  She boasts a resume that includes just as much pop country as straight-ahead bluegrass, just as many living legends as up-and-comers. From Hailey Whitters to Patty Loveless, Luke Bulla to Billy Gilman, Kelsey Waldon to Jesse McReynolds, she’s at home with any and all. Whether at the Station Inn, or the Grand Ole Opry, on Lower Broadway, or playing the country’s biggest festival stages, she darts between musical styles, contexts, and communities with ease.

It’s no wonder, then, that after almost two decades in Nashville, surrounded by so many country, Americana, and bluegrass greats, and following her banner 2023 – not only winning Bass Player of the Year, but also being named a Kentucky Colonel, the state’s highest honor bestowed by the governor – that Vaughn is taking that critical mass of support, her community, and making music with them. Coming soon, Vaughn will be recording and releasing a solo album produced by her longtime collaborator, mentor, and friend Deanie Richardson (Sister Sadie).

Whatever the genre, whichever the band, artist, or lineup, and wherever she roams, Vaughn takes her love of Kentucky and her sense of home with her, allowing each of us to feel the comfort, security, and joy that these musical homes can bring. That she does so with a gigantic, passionate voice, a deep pocket, and a constant laugh is just the bourbon-soaked cherry on top.

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