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Rose Vaughan Music


Tacked to artist Gloria Barrett's studio wall in LaHave, Nova Scotia, is a vibrant little painting. The impressionistic image bursts with colour and vitality and personality. Through Barrett's broad brush strokes and bold swipes of colour, the energy of the painting explodes off the canvas. The source of that energy is her friend, Halifax singer/composer Rose Vaughan.~ Sandy MacDonald, The Daily News

Rose Vaughan in 1984
Rose Vaughan, 1984

Rose performing solo in 2012 at
The Music Room, Halifax

Since the early 80's this innovative, prolific songwriter has been building an impressively large catalogue of songs...elegant, forthright songs of effortless beauty.

The songs have a contemporary folk/jazz feel, and range wide and deep, exploring landscape and season, compelling stories, emotional and philosophical themes. They all have an organic sense of balance, of having "already existed," as one fan told her. The writing has an open, inviting quality which draws the listener in with its honest vitality.

Rose's warmth, compassion and humour all combine naturally with her insightful observations of herself and others. The resulting mix is life itself- a canvas of emotions. With poetic lyrics and vivid imagery, she "paints" with music and words.

Rose Vaughan's songs are like Alice Munro short stories.
~ Peter Gzowski

Always fascinated by the alchemy of lyric and melody, Vaughan spent hours as a kid copying out the lyrics of old jazz tunes and songs from the musicals, memorizing the melodies and inventing harmonies. A grounding with choirs and glee clubs set her on a lifelong affair with songs!

She says, "Singing, for me, is as easy as breathing - it's just a completely natural thing for me to do." Her voice is clear, warm, unaffected, and distinctive; capable of melodic leaps into either the soprano territory or a low, rich alto.

One is immediately struck by how much the timbre of her voice and the moods she creates sound like Joni Mitchell on her early albums.
~ Paul E. Comeau, Dirty Linen.

Rose Vaughan and Bill Plaskett
Performing in Lunenburg
with Bill Plaskett

Coming up through the Halifax Folk Music scene in the 80's, Rose Vaughan began to make a name for herself with her lyrical, evocative songs and compelling stage presence. Early on, many of her songs leaned toward jazz and she teamed up with jazz guitarist Steve Garrett to release an album of co-written tunes, January Jazz, (1988).

That release was shortly followed by a recording project of Vaughan's new songs with versatile folk musician Bill Plaskett. Vaughan and Plaskett launched that second album, Lilac Rain, in early 1990.

Rose Vaughn Trio in the early 1990s
The Rose Vaughan Trio,
in the early 1990s

Later that same year, Vaughan found a great home for her songs when she joined with Cathy Porter (piano, flute, percussion) and Pam Mason (double bass) to form the Rose Vaughan Trio. Working and arranging Vaughan's songs together, the Trio honed their elegant, distinctive sound ... intuitive, emotional playing by Porter, Mason's anchoring bass, Vaughan's clear, warm voice, and spacious vocal harmonies.

Appearances around the Maritimes led to touring folk venues, theatres and festivals from the Maritimes through Ontario to enthusiastic response.

Winning first runner-up in a CBC song Contest with the jazzy tune "Man/Maid Moon" was a turning point for the Trio. CBC invited the Trio to record a full length CD in Studio H in 1991 and that album Sweet Tarragon was released in March of 1992. Upon its release, it began to generate terrific response, increased radio play and greater demand for live appearances.

Trio on tour
The Trio on tour

Such was the interest that CBC took the Trio into the studio again to record their second CD, Fire in the Snow. It was released in 1993 to critical acclaim. This led to several TV appearances and radio interviews.

The Trio continued to tour to an ever widening circle of enthusiastic fans and supporters and in 1996 released their third CD Winter Rose independently.

Rose Vaughan, Cathy Porter and Hilary Brown
Cathy, Rose & Hilary in 1996

Also in 1996, cellist Hilary Brown (Symphony Nova Scotia) replaced bassist Pam Mason in the Trio for a successful tour of forty house concerts throughout Ontario and the Maritimes.

Cathy Porter and Rose Vaughan enlisted Reese Nearing (guitar and fretless bass) for their last recording project, A Winter's Tide, released in 2003.

Clearing by Noon quartette
Clearing by Noon at
Thunder Bay Folk Festival,
about 1987

Rose also sang with the folk quartette Clearing by Noon, along with Sandy Greenberg, Catriona Talbot and Marsha Lake. Together they gave spirited performances at festivals, folk events and peace rallies. In 2002, they celebrated their many years of making music together by releasing their CD Singing for Peace.

Rose Vaughan continues to write and record, performs occasionally as a solo artist, works toward gaining greater exposure for her music and plans on recording a new CD sometime in the next year.

WildRose Records - 38 Rufus Ave, Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3N 2L7

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Website by Wendy Gilmour - Gilmour Promotions. Renovations and additions in 2014 by Heather Holm, HolmPage Productions