Category Archives: Guitars

Guitarsenal …

That’s my guitars all ready (ish) for future Craig Hughes & The Crow Bone Chorus endeavours. All we need now are the fucking gigs to play them at.

Advertisements

Yeah I know, I know …

… I’ve been remiss regarding keeping this blog updated for a few months now.  Regular updates, largely concerned with my creative endevours, will resume later this week with the first of a couple of posts on Dog Moon Howl.

Currently, I’m finalising plans for more solo releases via Channel Nowhere, looking at a much, much busier live year in 2015 for both myself/The Craig Hughes Two and Dog Moon Howl and there’ll be guitar design shenanigans with Zentone Guitars. There’ll be some writing as well, and on that front I’ve recently started a music review blog called Tapes For My Walkman you might like to check out.

More soon.  Honest.


This and that.

Been a while, so here’s an update:

Recorded the Dog Moon Howl album in January at The Boathouse in Alloa, started mixing it and then came down with the mother of all eye infections which was supposed to clear up in a fortnight but went on for over two months, becoming increasingly debilitating due to seriously affecting my vision.  Seems to have left me with some permanent problems in that regard, too.  Oh well.

Anyway, had to cancel gigs and the likes but since then have played a solo set at The Vagabond Social Club in Glasgow and a duo set at Record Store Day in Stirling (@ Europa Music), both of which went down rather well thank you very much.  Finished the mixes on the DMH album, getting the masters completed just now, and starting work on the cover art to boot.  Looking at a June release.

Actively booking for the band, the duo and myself so more live dates to be confirmed soon.  Playing (solo) @ Slouch, Glasgow on Wednesday.  Getting into a whole guitar design/business thing as well, Zentone Guitars, more news as-and-when.

Right, that’s your lot.  Blogging, eh?  Fucking doddle.


Winter News Round-up

So, my Mail manager-thingmy isn’t letting me send Newslist emails out anymore.  Fuckity-fuck-fuck-fuck.

Anyway, here’s the main body of what should have been this winter’s newsletter…

The Blues Magazine #10

There’s a full-page interview with me in #10 of Classic Rock Presents: The Blues Magazine and there’s also a great review of the new album in there.  Available now from WH Smiths etc., or order online.

Reaction to the new album

Reviews and reactions to Losers and Bastards are coming in and I’m pleased to say that so far they’ve been overwhelmingly positive.

“A diamond in the rough, with a poet’s soul.”

            The Blues Magazine (UK)

“It’s bloody brilliant.  Not just Hughes’ best, but one of 2013’s.”

            Resurrection Songs (UK)

His lyrics too are a mix of despair and grim humour and on a couple of the songs here he proves himself to be a great chronicler of Glasgow life with one of the songs, Future After All, reading as if it was an excerpt from a James Kelman story.”

            Blabber’n’Smoke (UK)

“…one of the most honest blues albums of 2013, leaving no doubt as to why Craig Hughes has often been compared to some of the past greats including Blind Willie Johnson.”

            Blues Underground Network (Canada)

And check out Charlie Bear’s video review of the album on her first Vlog, which also features some exclusive live footage.

The album entered the Blues Underground Network’s UK/Europe/Australia Top 10 Blues/Blues Rock Chart at No.1 and stayed there for four weeks running! Which brings me, slightly smugly, to some end-of-year charts/critic’s lists:

Blues Underground Network’s Year End Review – Best UK Blues Album : Losers and Bastards

Blues Underground Network’s Top Ten International Blues/Blues Rock Albums – #3: Losers and Bastards

The Third Class Ticket’s Festive 60 – #33: A Strongman and an Acrobat

Resurrection Songs’ Top 10 of 2013 – #5: Losers and Bastards

If you’ve yet to get a copy of the album or fancy giving one as a belated Xmas present (cheapskate!) please do check out my Bandcamp store for CDs and downloads – or download only via CD Baby, Amazon, iTunes and all that good stuff.

The Craig Hughes Two

The final few of 2013’s gigs were good ones.  I had a busy night in Slouch playing on a bill with the splendid Estonian/English trio of Andres Roots/Steve Lury/Peter Piik and last month’s “Craig Hughes Two” debut at the Vagabond Social Club with Ally Tennick from Dog Moon Howl on percussion went down a storm.  Look!  A picture!!

CH204

Dog Moon Howl

Talking of Dog Moon Howl, it’s been a quiet year on the band front for various reasons but we played our first gig in months at Pivo Pivo, Glasgow in November and it was a great night.  We were at Pivo again in December for our last gig of the year (another good one, a very different set to the previous month’s) and are preparing to record our first album in January 2014.  Which, come to think of it, is really soon.

New videos

There’s a video for the album track Everybody’s Got to Cheat and Lie Sometimes, culled from live footage taken by Dog Moon Howl’s Bryan Campbell available for your viewing pleasure HERE.

Also, a live performance of album track Beans and Bread from that Craig Hughes Two debut gig can be found HERE.

Tungstone Guitars

I recently had a meeting with Jordan Campbell of new guitar business Tungstone Guitars.  Something exciting is in the off – watch this space for updates.  In the meantime, Tungstone are just starting up and they have a new Facebook page so if you’re a Facebook sort of a person check them out and give them a “like” and/or follow them on Twitter.

Plans for 2014

Next year is going to be busy on both the live and recording fronts.  I’ll be continuing to play solo gigs but the live focus for my blues/roots stuff will be on the duo with Ally.  Dog Moon Howl will also be stepping up the live work on the release of our first album as mentioned above.  There are a couple of other projects in the offing which will likely happen in the second half of the year – more on those as and when.

So, that’s it for the time being.  Please do keep checking the website for updates, “like” the Facebook page and check out the YouTube channel as there’ll be a lot more content added there over the next wee while.


Album #2, Update #4 (and, arguably, other points of interest).

The few delays I’ve had in readying the new album for release have proved useful as the distance they’ve provided from the mixes have allowed me a fresh perspective.  As a result, there’s a wee bit of extra recording on its way over the next couple of days.  Other than that, though, it’s sounding good, I reckon.  Ten tracks, around 42 minutes in total – which, as we all know is the correct running time for an album.

There’s the usual-for-me mix of vibes while keeping, broadly speaking, to the roots/blues template.   We’ve got acoustic stomp-blues, Stonesy stuff, a gypsy-flamenco type thing, country/rockabilly etc., something moody and on one track at least the suggestion of a Crazyhorse/Dinosaur Jr flavour.   The title, release date and (hopefully) cover art will be revealed next Friday.  In the meantime I’m trying to settle on a pre-release tune to put out, so there should be news on that too.

Other than that, I just played the Dundee Blues Bonanza for the second year in a row.  A slightly different experience this time – two early afternoon gigs, one in an empty pub and one in a coffee shop playing to people watching the tennis.  Oh well.  None-the-less, cheers to Bob and the committee for having me along and to Bryan Campbell for sharing the fun.  Oh yes, and I appear to have broken my SG.  That’s a whole blog to itself, I should imagine.


Album #2: Update #2.

The studio sessions for the new album are four days split in two, with the first done and the second about to be.  During the first we got a lot of ground covered – me and Tommy Duffin playing, James Duffin recording – with much in the way of mad percussion stuff (stomping, clapping, bottle-top tambourine, boom-chicka-boom guitar, bongos, actual drums) and different guitar tones (acoustic recorded as electric, flamenco guitar, proper electric).   Tunes recorded so far include a slide-stomper with a hint of skiffle, an old school woozy gospel(ish) thing, a couple of solo slide/vocal numbers and a flamenco-tinged polka.  A few minor problems cropped up – not least that it turns out flamenco guitars are supposed to buzz a bit (who knew?) but mine started buzzing really quite a lot.  Also, my vocals were rough – I mean really, really rough.

Session number two is now upon us.  Full electric band stuff will dominate.  In between these two sessions I’ve been rewriting lyrics, doing some test edits and and going over the vocal parts.  A couple of tunes have been dropped altogether.  Oddly, the build-up to these sessions was horrendously stressful but now that things are well underway, even with the occasional setback, stress levels are dropping.  There’ll be additional recording and mixing next week (busy live schedule permitting) and it should be mastered the week after.  Phew.


Album #2: Update #1 (plus gigging and guitars and that).

While trying to finalise arrangements for the new album I’ve complicated matters for myself by rewriting an old song and writing two new ones – one from scratch and and one using a rough lyric from the vaults as its starting point.  Here was me thinking the track-listing was done as well!  Actually that’s not 100% true, as I’ve been struggling with a track I’d really been hoping to include but now think I should file under “finish another time”, and another which had been long-earmarked for inclusion but will now, I think, be sitting this one out.

Slowing things down somewhat has been the fact that my acoustic-electric guitars are badly in need of servicing and I’ve been trying to fit that in with everything else – a big enough job on its own.  My old cheapo Takamine, which is my main slide guitar is utterly unplayable right now and will need quite a bit of work over this next week to be at least acoustically ready for the recording sessions in ten days (I generally don’t use the ‘electric’ components of the electric-acoustic guitars in the studio).  There are a couple of solo gigs lined up for near the end of the month too, so it will need its electronics sorted by then.  I have a backup, a Vintage Synergy which has basically never worked, but it’s very nearly in full working order now, just a tweak or two needed.  Something of a game changer might be my move towards playing my nylon strung flamenco guitar, an old Manuel Segura, gifted to me by a friend as a repair project years ago.  I’ve been enjoying playing it so much that I may make it my main standard-tuned acoustic guitar live.  As a result I’ve bought a decent internal pickup system for it which I’ll install this week.  Fingers crossed that works out.

In amongst all the above, I played a gig last Friday with Dog Moon Howl at The Vale, sharing the bill with Soul Remover, Monstronaut and Aye-Aye at a new monthly rock night called Rock In A Hard Place.  All the bands gave it plenty, and I particularly enjoyed Aye-Aye’s Hawkwind-flavoured, environmentally-themed space rock.  DMH played well but we started to trip ourselves up in the second half of the set – the crowd was great though and we got away with it.  The band is taking things easy until the second half of the year which’ll see a lot more live work and the recording and release of our first album – we’ve even been knocking back gig offers which is encouraging and frustrating in equal measures.  Our next live set will be in Glasgow at The 13th Note on June 8th.

In the meantime it’s back to the pre-production on solo album #2.  Tonight I’m meeting up with Tommy Duffin to go over some of the finer details – he’ll be co-producing the album and playing on there too – and I’m just taking a break from design/packaging costing-and-planning to get this typed up.

Image

The offending articles.