Reviewed by Margaret Moser, Fri., Sept. 29, 2006
Some debut albums set up careers with the promise of good things to come. Idgy Vaughn delivered Origin Story without warning, a recording so potent it can't be ignored. "Look into my eyes; now do I look like the dangerous type?" she beckons on "Dragging the River," while smacking a honky-tonk punch in the mouth to "Mister Wrong," co-written with Pauline Reese. Vaughn's own story is so marketable it reads like a tabloid headline: "Single Mom Waitresses, Lottery-Winning Customer Finances Record." That happened when she worked in Buda; the rest of her story unfolds on "Midwestern Biography." Musically, Origin Story falls on the country side of Americana, serving literate stabs at heartbreak and heartache ("Attic Window," "Redbone Hound") with wise and witty retorts ("Small Town Girls"). Occasionally, she veers maudlin ("Over You"), yet even her wry resilience doesn't prepare the listener for "Saint Francis Fire," the devastating account of 12 schoolgirls who died in a Christmas pageant fire. That storytelling sensibility sends her right to the head of the class, where she need not cheat off Eliza Gilkyson or Sara Hickman, because Idgy Vaughn's done her homework. Origin Story just might be the local debut album of the year.