Wilmette bassist back in S.P.A.C.E. with TR3
Dan Martier (left), Tim Reynolds and Mick Vaughn of TR3.
S.P.A.C.E., 1245 Chicago Ave., Evanston
8 p.m. Oct. 31
Tickets are $25 to $38
(847) 492-8860 or visit
Updated: October 24, 2012 10:42AM
Bass player Mick Vaughn’s double life as a musician-cum-tile-layer leads him back to his old musical stomping grounds next week with Tim Reynold’s TR3.
The power trio, fronted by Dave Matthews Band guitarist Reynolds, will return to Space in Evanston Oct. 31 for a Halloween show. The last time the group played there, in November 2009, the result was the live double-CD “From Space and Beyond.”
“We always enjoy playing there,” said Vaughn. “It has nice sound and the audiences have always been receptive when we want to stretch out with something a little more jazzy and cerebral that might not go over so well in a rowdy rock club.”
Vaughn started playing jazz at New Trier, where he graduated in 1987, but he soon switched his emphasis to rock with a variety of bands during high school and later with professional groups such as Scott Bennett and The Obvious.
After playing trumpet during early school years, he tried his hand at guitar but quickly became frustrated and tried the bass, which instantly felt right.
“I liked it because it was easier for me to play in bands,” Vaughn said. “I didn’t feel like I had to be a virtuoso. “I got a good sound, it came fast and it was always satisfying. I wish it had been drums, though. I love drums and would have really loved to be a drummer.”
Instead, Vaughn did the next best thing by playing in rhythm sections with drummer Matt Walker (who subsequently recorded and toured with the likes of Filter, Garbage, Smashing Pumpkins, Nine Inch Nails and Morrissey) in a variety of high school and professional bands including The Obvious.
“It was a lot fun, but I was never totally committed to getting into it at a level where I could support myself,” said Vaughn, who decided to start working a trade as a tile installer around 1992. “I didn’t want to struggle that hard. I was basically having fun with it.”
“And I enjoy doing tile work,” he said with a laugh.
Nonetheless, Vaughn never stopped playing, laying tile by day and playing bass in pretty much any sort of band at night, especially after moving to North Carolina’s Barrier Island area 20 years ago during a building boom.
Reynolds moved there also around 2007 and heard about Vaughn and drummer Dan Martier’s reputation as experienced pros who could play pretty much anything. After a quick meeting and an impromptu show, followed by rehearsals and a few more shows in local restaurants and clubs, he decided to incorporate them into a new version of TR3.
Reynolds had created the trio in the mid-’80s and toured with the group through the ’90s, before ending it to concentrate on a solo career — until joining the Dave Matthews Band in 2008. Now, the new trio records and tours whenever the DMB is on a break.
“Last year, we toured every month and pretty much went all over the country, but there’s been less of a chance for that with the new Dave Matthews album coming out and the big summer tour,” Vaughn said. “And that’s good, because we stay fresh that way.”
Vaughn added that he enjoys playing with TR3 because of the group’s kinetic energy and because there’s more room in a power trio for him to “come at it with both barrels sometimes. We change it up a lot. We’ll go from ballistic, machine-gun fire to a really poignant ballad and then turn around and get crazy again. It’s a lot of fun.”