Friday, May 28, 2010

Michael Hughes - Cloudy

Hear The Track Here

Hands up all those people who were aware that Soundclick even had a genre called Traditional Hawaiian? Yeah, well you are all lying so you don't look out of touch. Personally I had no idea that such a genre existed but if there is anyone who can get in there and make something of it, Michael Hughes would be it. See, Michael is an acoustic musician in the truest sense of the word and his preferred instruments read like a world class slobber list. Amongst all those stringed beauties are mandolins, steel guitars and lap slide guitars - which explains the genre classification I guess.

Only two of those instruments end up on Cloudy and you wouldn't think that two stringed instruments could make so much pure sound. For the plank spankers amongst us, Michael made this with a Weissenborn lap steel and National Baritone steel guitar and the reason I say that isn't to show I'm some guitar geek (Ed: he is, o yes he is) but because these two instruments are the very definition of American music to me. Both were born with the country but, to me anyway, the way they were used in Hawaiian music is very different to their application in American mainstream music, in particular country and its bastard offshoot, country and western,

Cloudy is exactly the kind of tune I would class as pure 100% Americana in feel, tone and structure and shows why Michael Hughes is held in such high regard. There are very, very few guitarists I would choose to listen to for relaxation and almost all of them are acoustic. What makes this musician so special to me isn't just his playing though - even though it is of a very high standard indeed. It's the authenticity he brings to every single track. Out of the three tracks I have reviewed so far (and shame on me for taking so long to do so) all of them have been flawless, beautifully played and recorded. Such sounds are the very stuff of heaven...

MUST HAVE acoustic Americana.

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