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A Country Song Springs to Life

Idgy Vaughn seems to exist out of time, like a classic country singer from the '50s.
Idgy Vaughn seems to exist out of time, like a classic country singer from the '50s.

As she steps to the microphone in her sundress, holding her jumbo-sized guitar, Idgy Vaughn looks out of time somehow, like a classic country singer from the '50s. Even her story resembles an old country song come to life: A single mom moves from Illinois to Austin, Texas, and works as a truck-stop waitress until one day, one of her coffee-sipping regulars wins the lottery and loans her the money she needs to chase her dream as a singer-songwriter.

That's actually how Vaughn's debut CD, Origin Story, came about. A winner of the prestigious Kerrville New Folk Competition in 2004, Vaughn has already established her gifts as a songwriter. Now, with a delicate voice reminiscent of Nanci Griffith's and a support crew featuring an impressive assortment of Austin-based musical talent, Vaughn straddles the line between contemporary folk-pop and traditional country, offering 10 subtly hued yet largely autobiographical stories.

One of the most affecting is "Good Enough," a song about a daughter losing her mother's love — and that, sadly, was inspired by a nightmarish child-custody battle with her own disapproving parents. Vaughn's debut may or may not make a big splash, but it resonates with a rare authenticity.

Listen to yesterday's 'Song of the Day.'

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David Brown
David Browne is a contributing editor of Rolling Stone and the author of Goodbye 20th Century: A Biography of Sonic Youth and Dream Brother: The Lives and Music of Jeff and Tim Buckley. His work has also appeared in The New York Times, The New Republic, Spin and other outlets. He is currently at work on Fire and Rain, a book that will track the lives and careers of The Beatles, Simon & Garfunkel, James Taylor and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young during the pivotal year of 1970.