Down On Vaughan Road

Son Roberts

Record Details


Record Tracklist

  1. Down On Vaughan Road -:-- / :30

Down on Vaughan Road

Vocals and Harmonica: Son Roberts
Guitars: Brett MacMillan
Drums: Sarah Thawer
Bass: Jerome Tucker
Background Vocals: Gail Roberts and Kate Roberts

Inspired by the many women I’ve known in life who’ve been victimized by poisonous men. One of these troubled women took her own life when she was an employee at our agency. And while that frail young woman did not survive, the song ends on a resilient note with the protagonist looking to another day, ready to fight for her dignity.

The song originated when I was driving down Vaughan Road and picked up one of the harmonicas I keep in my car. The original riff I played that day is essentially the intro and chorus of the song. When Brett and I started to explore the song, we agreed to take it in a similar direction we took with “Stephen Lea’s father” from Tell That Story: minimal, beat-oriented and raw.

For my part, the idea of it being a “hip hop” song made me nervous as hell.  But Brett had a vision for it and when we brought Sarah Thawer into the Meatlocker to lay down some grooves, it made sense to me. She is awesome! Brett kicked in with decidedly back porch, R L Burnside-type guitar licks and the song came alive.

But we needed a strong bottom end so, thanks to a recommendation from my good friend Mark Stafford, we enlisted a master funkster, Jerome Tucker. Jerome took to “Down on Vaughan Road” like he’d played it for years. Check out  Jerome Tucker  working up the song here). Finally, my daughters really came through with tight background vocals, as usual.

*“Down on Vaughan Road” was awarded second prize in Paul Reddick’s Cobalt prize for Original Blues Composition song in February 2019.


Down on Vaughan Road

(Wayne S. Roberts, Brett MacMillan)


She’s got a picture of her daddy

on the wall

She’ll tell you a story about him leavin’

he never called

She’s wearin’ them high heeled shoes

and that’s all.

Down on Vaughan Road


She’ll cut a shadow through the window

sun down

She’ll cry and wail about tomorrow

it’s all sound

She’s in her own fine circle

Just goin’ around and around and ‘round

Down on Vaughan Road


There was a time …

She once was someone’s little girl

Those afternoons …

All her ribbons and curls

Way back when …

Oh, when her lips were ruby red

But those are dead


Down on Vaughan Road


Down on, Down on, Down on

Down on Vaughan Road



She sometimes wakes up in the middle of the night

Stares out at a thousand miles of sky

lookin’ for light

She wanna know who’s out there

left to fight

Down on Vaughan Road


Down on, Down on, Down on

Down on Vaughan Road

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