This Wednesday evening, the Maintenance Shop transformed into a blues music hub. The night began with Ames’ local band, Bitter Canyon. The group performed a short and upbeat set for the crowd in preparation for headliner Maurice John Vaughn.

The audience was small, but mighty, as many concert-goers were of older generations looking for a relaxing and unique night out. Vaughn and his band definitely delivered.

Maurice Vaughn and his band consisted of Freddie Dixon, son of Willie Dixon, on bass and secondary vocals, Tim Taylor, son of Eddie Taylor, on drums, Vaughn on guitar, keyboard and primary vocals, and occasional special guest vocalist Joseph “Mojo” Morganfield, son of Muddy Waters.

Maurice John Vaughn at M-Shop

In this performance, Vaughn sang, played guitar and played the keyboard, but he also plays the saxophone. He has been playing professionally since 1968.

Their set began at 9 p.m. with Maurice John Vaughn taking center stage with his guitar to sing a few of his favorite songs including ‘I Wanna Be Your Spy’ and ‘Small Town Baby.'

Vaughn consistently kept the audience involved and interested with his raw talent and ability to make jokes between each song.

“One of my dearest friends taught me a little bit about the piano. He said, ‘Don’t you touch my piano,' so now this is my piano, and I’m touchin’ it…tonight,” Vaughn said.  

Maurice John Vaughn at M-Shop

Maurice John Vaughn dedicated a song to the homeless, saying "I hope this helps because there are a lot of things that just don't work." Vaughn urged the ground to "reach out to your fellow man."

Everything Vaughn did had character and spunk, even when he slowed it down to play a keyboard tribute to the homeless people of the world.

“When you look at the man in the street, remember it could be you or me,” Vaughn sang.

The night set was then handed over to bass player Freddie Dixon, who sang some songs his father had written, including ‘I Just Want to Make Love to You.' During each of Dixon’s songs, Maurice had instrumental solos that blew the audience away.

At around 9:45 p.m. Vaughn called up their surprise guest “Mojo Morgan”, who was indeed Joseph Morganfield, son of Muddy Waters. Morganfield sang some of his father’s classics, including ‘Mannish Boy’.

The night began to wrap up at around 10:20 when the group decided to finish their set with another classic, ‘Got My Mojo Working.'

The crowd was dancing by the bar throughout the evening, and did not want the night to end when they requested one more song. Vaughn and the band did not hesitate to extend the set to 10:45 p.m. with the oldie, ‘Sweet Home Chicago’ which did not end until the audience successfully sang ‘Sweet Home Ames.'

Wednesday evening was filled with upbeat and soulful music. The talent and spirit of Vaughn and his bandmates radiated from wall-to-wall of the M-Shop, bringing most people to their feet. The night was one to remember, and the music was some to never forget.

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