Cameron Vaught was raised in the small town of Rural Retreat located in southwest Virginia. With a love for exploring the mountains, he could be found camping, fishing (one of his favorite places to go was Raven Cliff), caving, hiking and backpacking… and playing music.
Growing up in a family with roots in bluegrass, gospel, and country, Cameron’s love for music came at an early age. He entertained himself singing and dancing around with a tennis racket in his hands pretending it was a guitar while listening to his parent’s collection of 8 tracks and albums.
“My father was a pianist in a country band, my mother a vocalist in several gospel groups. My grandfather was a banjo player for a radio touring bluegrass group. I loved travelling to watch them perform.”
At the age of eight, Cameron began singing and taking piano lessons. At the age of nine he found the instrument that would change his life. While at a rehearsal with his father’s band, the drummer sat Cameron down behind the kit and showed him the basics. He was a natural. Cameron earned his first drum kit by sitting in on occasion with his father’s country band.
Cameron began playing trombone and drums in his elementary band before moving to lead snare in the drum line of his high school marching band. During high school he began to expand his musical horizons by listening and playing along to more of his father’s classic rock albums, and older brother’s hard rock cassettes. His brother had started playing guitar so the two could jam. They would be heard jamming by the locals down the block. Cameron also learned to play the guitar and bass. However, banging out loud grooves on the drums was Cameron’s forte. He also became intrigued by the jazz, big band and funk music at the recommendation of his band director. At age fifteen, Cameron began playing drums with a jazz ensemble and his first original band, a funk/heavy rock project.
Following high school, Cameron attended Wytheville Community College. He then transferred to Radford University where he studied music. In 2000 he returned to his hometown to perform in musical productions at the Wohlfahrt Haus Dinner Theater in Wytheville, VA. Later that year, he decided to move to Kernersville, NC to form a band with his brother to play the Carolinas while continuing to perform at the Wohlfahrt Haus.
In the summer of 2002 he joined a successful local rock band, Drivn. The band was made up of friends and fellow musicians from back in his hometown. Over the next several years, Drivn would expand to become one of the biggest regional bands. In 2006, Drivn travelled to Nashville to meet and later record with former Sony engineer, Gary Cirimelli. Cirimelli recorded and produced an album that the band would travel in support of for the next several years with opening slots for acts such as .38 Special and Little Big Town. After a few years of running the roads, Drivn decided to disband.
Over the next few years, Cameron would perform regionally with various friends and family including his father and brother while also doing studio work.
In the spring of 2011, producer/engineer, Cirimelli contacted Cameron and a few fellow members of Drivn with an idea to create a country/southern rock band like no other. He introduced them to singer/songwriter/multi-instrumentalist Justin Spears. They immediately hit it off. “Interesting how things come full circle. I’ve played many different styles and have come back to my earliest influences in music.” This opportunity has allowed Cameron to once again expand his musical horizons by experimenting with the cajon as well as mandolin. The rest is, if you will, the RAVEN CLIFF story!