Coldwater Canyon Band

An interview with singer/songwriter Howie Vaughn
by Tina Hall
January 2011

Coldwater Canyon Band

Coldwater Canyon Band

The sound of Indie group Coldwater Canyon Band is rather hard to describe. With a sound that is called Cali Country it is an interesting band to say the least. Frontman Howie Vaughn was raised in Tennessee bringing the sound of true country back to his birth state of California. The newest album is titled Just Getting Started. Their single Nobody Knows hit #2 On Billboard’s Hot Country Singles Chart and the Top 10 On the Hot Singles Chart. For fans that prefer more of a rock tunes their track Weatherman was inspired by the style of the band Cinderella.

Maximum Ink: What was it like growing up in Kingsport, Tennessee? Do you ever get back there much?
Howie Vaughn: It was very fun, mamaw and papaw taught me to be self-reliant and humble. Uncle Bill and Uncle Jack taught me how to have fun and fight like a man. Momma and daddy taught me to live off the land and be the man I am today. I go back at least every 2 years.

MI: Is it true you were sneaking into to clubs to sing country at the age of 8? What was that like? Any interesting stories to tell from back then?
HV:Yes it’s true, dad liked beer and honky tonk angels. It was an experience. Lol, I listened intently to most of the stories being told by those old men. So I learned and heard things that well, let’s put it this way, made me a little more streetwise or bar-ready than most folks. Here’s a good story, my dad took me to a little place to sing in Las Vegas, my Uncle Dave and Uncle Charlie were there. Uncle Dave bet my dad 100 bucks to run across the street buck naked, you know streak, and jump in Caesar Palace fountain, so daddy did. The cops came and so did some goombahs. I was about 10.  11 years later, my buddy Jason and I were in the same bar and I told him the story. He said, “you ain’t got a hair on your ass if you don’t do that too”, so I did. I’m one of the few people to be escorted to state line for being redneck and crazy.

MI: You mention your grandfather was your family always supportive? Do they still reside in TN?
HV:  I mention my papaw and I think of him often, my family has always been supportive of all of my dreams especially music. God gave me a gift, my fans give me the reason, and my family gives me support. Although granddaddy’s music and mine ain’t the same, I know he would love it. I still have family back in Kingsport.

MI: You also rode saddle broncs on the Amateur Rodeo circuit. What made you decide to try that? Do you ever miss it?
HV:  I decided to try that because I came from breaking horses as a kid on pappaw’s horse farm, we use to green break wild horses to sell. So it seemed the natural thing to do to try and earn a living when I got older, but ya gotta start somewhere. Do I ever miss it? All the time, but I don’t get beat up as much by singing.

MI: What first led you to bring more of the country sound to California?
HV: Nashville producers and record companies weren’t understanding my sound. Momma and Daddy had moved to California, I heard Dre and Snoop and thought well hell I can do that with country, so to Cali I bounced. Thank god for Thomas Goodin CEO of Kountreeboyz Entertainment that understood my vision and knowing what I wanted to do, because he understood.

MI: Do you find being raised with country music has helped you polish your own sound? Who were some of your earliest influences? What other genres do you enjoy? 
HV:  You’re damn skippy. Willie, Waylon, Johnny Cash, Elvis, my momma and daddy, Run DMC, Aerosmith. because all of us are or where underdogs trying to make it in this hard core world of music. Remember when the outlaws were called outlaws ‘cause they had a unique sound. I love the old 30s and 40 music, Frank Sinatra, and everything during the Bakersfield sound, and that crazy airband music from the 80s called Metal, it was cool.

MI: Weatherman was inspired by Cinderella. Are you a fan of the 80’s rock bands? Why do you think their sound is so timeless in it’s appeal?What do you think of rockers, like Bret Michaels, Sheryl Crow, and Kid Rock for example(whose early roots include listening to the country greats) making songs now that could easily cross over to country?
HV: Yep. It’s just a good song. Sounds in music can be timeless because of the message. And if you listen to what’s being said, you get a sense of timelessness. It’s interesting you mention them, they are fantastic. They write what they know and what they have lived. It’s pure it’s real. I actually love their music and listen to them regularly. And tell Bret to keep on fightin’. I am happy he popped the question and I hope he has found “The One”.

MI: What is one little known thing about yourself that you’d not mind sharing with our readers?
HV: I’m a little OCD, things have to make sense. If I pump gas the numbers gotta come out even,  like I can’t stop at 22.75. It’s gotta be 23.00 even, lol. I can’t have one shot gotta be two.

MI: How do you think country music has changed most since the early days?
HV:  It really hasn’t, except for the perception. Country is about soul, about life about love and loss, good times and bad. Ain’t that what we all know about?

MI: Do you feel that some of the new country acts have a little of the heart and soul that was apparent in the classics?
HV:  I do. fellas like Paisley and Urban still love that guitar like buck and Haggard. Lovely Ladies like Swift and Underwood are still belting out songs about real feelings about what life is like. And of course Kristofferson and McGraw and Strait and Keith are still in tune with what we live, what we are all about.

MI: How would you most like to see the country industry change next?
HV:  Well, it ain’t the industry as much as the industry moguls that keep it from gaining young fans. I’d like to see more acceptance.

MI: Can you tell us a little about the album Just Getting Started?
HV: My first album, so cool to be accepted by so many. It’s a homage if you will to those before and now and after. We are always just getting started. Every day we gotta start again. The songs meant so much during the production. I’m glad Kountreeboyz Entertainment and Luck Media and BBM & Management Booking agency and Dehtyme Entertainment all loved the message of it.

MI: What projects are you looking forward to bringing the people next?
HV: My project is always music with meaning. I work every day and all future projects will be approached the same way. To deliver my sound and the message of love. I also wanna do a Country song with Kid Rock, Hank Jr. and Ke$ha.

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Coldwater Canyon Band
CD: Just Getting Started Record Label: Kountree Boyz Entertainment

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