Milligan Vaughan Project review….

MILLIGAN VAUGHAN PROJECT

MVP

MARK ONE RECORDS

SOUL SATISFACTION–DANGEROUS EYES–LITTLE BIT OF HEAVEN–DRIVING YOU–LEAVE MY GIRL ALONE–COMPARED TO WHAT–HERE I AM–DEVIL’S BREATH–TWO WINGS–LIVE BONUS TRACKS FROM SXSW–WHAT PASSES FOR LOVE–PALACE OF THE KING

Malford Milligan is a brilliant Austin-based vocalist who has appeared on NBC-TV’s “The Voice” (in 2013), and who has been named “Vocalist Of The Tear” at the Austin Chronicle Music Awards.  Tyrone Vaughan is a member of not only Austin, but world-renowned blues royalty.  His father is Jimmie Vaughan, and uncle SRV gave him his first real guitar at age five.  Following in their footsteps,  Tyrone has teamed up with  Malford  to release the power-packed debut from the Milligan Vaughan Project, “MVP,” from Mark One Records.  There are nine studio cuts that include originals  from Malford, Tyrone, and producer David Grissom,  and a couple of fine covers.  The set closes with two cuts from their live debut during SXSW.

This set draws heavily from the influences of both men, and features a strong dose of blues, funk, and even a touch of gospel.  That funk hits the fan on the opening track, the “heart to heart and soul to soul”  drive of “Soul Satisfaction, every time I get next to you!”   Malford then plays a man who’s always played things cool, until he gets “pulled under by those Dangerous Eyes,” and it turns into that special love that is just a “Little Bit Of Heaven,” complete with “your collard greens and mac and cheese!”  This one has some fine instrumental work all around, especially the keys from Michael Ramos.

The fellows break out their jazz chops on a killer read of the Les McCann-Eddie Harris chestnut, “Compared  To What,” then step into the straight-blues of “Devil’s Breath.”  The studio portion of the set closes on a gospel note, with Malford’s vocal and Tyrone’s acoustic guitar on James Cleveland’s  “Two Wings.”

We had two favorites, too.  Malford and Tyrone co-wrote a tune full of swagger, the walkin-blues story of that “certified love-maker and deep-sea diver,” (all you cunning linguists out there know what he’s talking about!) entitled “Driving You.”  And, the live set closes on a rockin’ note from SXSW, as Tyrone’s guitar wails over Malford’s vocal on the Freddie King classic about “livin’ down in Dallas” at “The Palace Of The King.”

The Milligan Vaughan Project is sho’ nuff an “MVP” with this excellent debut.  Altho not physically related, their musical bond is strong, and we look forward to more from Malford Milligan and Tyrone Vaughan!  Until next time…Sheryl and Don Crow, The Nashville Blues Society.

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