Robert Vaughn’s ‘Songs From the Riverhouse’ Remastered for 2LP Red Vinyl

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“Alternative Records is proud to announce that finally, after 33 years(?!), there will finally be a two-record set, on red vinyl, of this legendary, if obscure, album from Robert Vaughn and the Shadows. There is a very limited number of records being pressed, and they are only being offered in response to the demand of RV fans and the community.

Songs from the Riverhouse was Robert Vaughn’s follow-up album to 1987’s much acclaimed Love & War. That album garnered a tremendous amount of press coverage, exposing Robert to a larger audience, including that of Dick Clark’s American Bandstand. In the end, the company tasked with distributing Vaughn’s works folded while he continued to produce demos of new work. In 1990, Robert approached Alternative Records’ founder, Randy Layton, seeking a partner for his next work. “I was certainly very interested,” says Layton. “Over the course of a few months, it was amazing to witness the amount of material he was coming up with. In the end, there were about 30 songs that I had to choose from for the album. It was overwhelming,” he notes. “The songs were great and a noticeable departure from the previous album. This work had a much more organic feel and introduced new players outside of The Shadows, including Jack Sonni of the Dire Straits, among many others. This contributed to a record that had the feel of a concept album despite it not being written as such. The songs told stories about various people in tough places, going through tough times, in a way that represented an astounding range of styles.”

Randy jokingly recalls telling Vaughn to stop sending demos so the record could actually get made. He selected 17 songs and put them in a sequence that seemed to work. At the time, when double albums were out of fashion, this lengthy record showcased the range of an up-and-coming artist with intriguing stories to tell.

The reviews were strong. “This is a 10-Star disc, “ said a San Diego newspaper. That writer wasn’t far off. At the same time, it was agreed between Vaughn and Alternative Records, that this album would be shopped around to major labels for a bigger deal for the artist. The offers came quickly and Sony came out on top. Despite the new label’s interest, Sony did not release the album. Alternative’s first distribution was the only version, leaving the record out-of-print and unavailable. Until now.

This very limited reissue is an opportunity to hear the album as never before, with new sequencing and never officially released material, not part of the original project.”