VVon Skow
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  Sometimes musical genius comes from the most unlikely places.This is exactly the case with Emmy, Grammy, and Dove award winning music-man Vaughn Skow.

In 1985, barely out of his teens, farmer-boy Vaughn took a gamble and left the small Midwestern town of Jackson Minnesota for Nashville, Tennessee.  He had a pickup with a camper shell over the bed and a hundred bucks in his pocket.  What more could any wanta-be singer/songwriter/music biz mogul possibly want?

In Minnesota Vaughn had led a double life.  Much of his time was spent on the family farm, driving tractors, feeding and cleaning up after livestock, and generally doing what farm boys do.  But there was also an entirely different side to Vaughn.  At thirteen years of age Vaughn had decided to become a “rock star”.  And he acted on that desire.  By the age of 14 his band was a regular at the appropriately named “Hole Saloon” on Main Street in Jackson Minnesota.  And, at the age of 15 he began a career as a radio announcer.  Over the next five years he would land jobs at four radio stations in Minnesota and Iowa--all while still a teenager.

As soon as high school released its grip, Vaughn headed to Chillicothe, Ohio to attend recording school.  Upon returning to Jackson, Vaughn built his first recording studio in what had been his father’s chicken house, and called it “Chicken House Recording”.  During this time, Vaughn continued his career in radio with stints at stations in St. James Minnesota, Spencer, Iowa, and finally Spirit Lake, Iowa.  And while his band, “Crossfire” was experiencing good local and regional success, Vaughn longed to take his musical career to a level it just couldn’t reach in a small town.  So in 1985 he loaded up a few belongings and one precious guitar in the back of his pick-up and headed for music city.

Within days of moving to Nashville Vaughn wound up in a recording studio working with Amy Grant and Art Garfunkel (while still living in the back of his truck in the music valley drive KOA campground, just down the road from the Grand Ole Opry).  His first month in Nashville found him lending his voice (as a background singer) to Christian singer Sandy Pati’s album “Morning Like This”, which would go on to garner Grammy and Dove awards.  That would be followed by singing, along side Ricky Skaggs and Sharon White, on Tanya Goodman’s Dove award wining album “Promises”.  The gamble to move to Nashville was paying off.

Within six months, Vaughn built his first studio on Nashville’s fabled “Music Row” at 1508 16th Ave. South.  For the next two years he would work with nearly every country and Contemporary Christian artist in Nashville, both at this studio as well as in his new role as a regular sound engineer at Nashville’s legendary Bluebird Café’.

The next decade found Vaughn owning, managing, and serving as head engineer in several Nashville recording studios.  During this time he also took sound engineering jobs on the road with several major acts, most notable were Tom T Hall, Marie Osmond, Tracy Lawrence, and Barbra Mandrel.  While on the road with Tom T. Hall Vaughn had a “big break” of sorts.   At a show near St. James Minnesota, Tom asked Vaughn if he would like to “open up” the show since “there was no opening act, and Vaughn had a lot of family there”.  It went so well that Tom went on to routinely have Vaughn, backed by Tom’s band the Storytellers, open the shows.  For the next several years, Vaughn would serve as Tom T. Hall’s opening act, guitarist, and sound engineer, all at the same time!  Vaughn counts his proudest moment as being his first time playing guitar with Tom T. Hall on the Grand Ole’ Opry.  “I looked down and saw that I was actually standing in the circle of stage that they had cut out of the stage floor at the Ryman auditorium and included in the new Opry house stage.  When I realized where I was standing, and the historical significance, I almost passed-out.  I can’t remember how I played that night, but it couldn’t have been very good.”

This period also found Vaughn Engineering and Producing in recording studios every day he was “in town”.  Credits include Tracy Lawrence, Vern Gosdin, Vince Gill, Garth Brooks, Kathy Mattea, Michael Johnson, Brad Paisley, Keith Urban and many more.

In recent years, Mr. Skow has spent time teaching others what he has learned as an adjunct professor of audio recording at Volunteer State College in Gallatin, TN (from 1998 to 2007).  In 2002 Vol State began a major project building a new studio complex.   Vaughn was chosen to serve as design consultant on the Vol State audio recording studio as well as oversee the actual construction phase of the project.  Mr. Skow also personally selected and installed every piece of equipment in the facility.  In addition, when the School of Audio Engineering (SAE) in Nashville opened its doors, Vaughn was picked to be a guest lecturer/instructor. 

Since 1999 Vaughn has been working extensively in the world of audio for picture, serving as the audio producer for several music television shows for Turner broadcasting.  This work has garnered Vaughn four Emmy awards and several Emmy nominations for his contributions.  Vaughn has also been busy scoring original music for picture for Turner Network Television as well as Nashville Public Television. 

These days Vaughn works out of the recording studio he built in the back yard of his home on Sunset Island Trail, a half hour’s drive from downtown Nashville.  Vaughn is also taking his love and experience of music to others with his live DJ companies, MusicCityPartyDJ and MusicCityWeddingDJ. 

In all of his years helping other artists to sound good, Vaughn neglected his own music.  In 2003 Vaughn decided to address this by starting his own “little Rock-n-Blues” band.  It was begun simply to provide a musical outlet that working in the studio with other artists just could not provide.  It has grown to be more than that.  Vaughn’s band, “VonSkow” has evolved into a first-rate act.  Last summer the band was booked to headline an outdoor blues festival in non other than Memphis, Tennessee.  Imagine that, a farm boy from Minnesota headlining a blues festival in Memphis!

Anything can happen when you dare to take chances.


The official VonSkow band site!

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