Tag Archives: country

Introducing … The Crow Bone Chorus.

The Crow Bone Chorus

With our first rehearsal under our belts (and a good one at that) , I’m happy to say that my erstwhile band mates in Dog Moon Howl, Bryan Campbell and Ally Tennick, are joining me in a new project: Craig Hughes & The Crow Bone Chorus.  We’ll soon be bringing new music to a venue near you, by which I mean a venue near us, as well as selections from my studio releases and more besides. The plan is now to record and release my next album, which I’ve mentioned here before, under the Craig Hughes & The Crow Bone Chorus banner.  The album is unlikely to be underway before early 2018 but we should be playing our first gigs before the end of this year.

Croe Bone Chorus logo

The Craig Hughes Two

The Craig Hughes Two is about to be resurrected on the live scene after a year’s layoff for heavy rocking purposes.  We’ll be gigging again from Sept/Oct with our new mini-album to flog.

I’ll be posting regular “work in progress” updates here from now on, so do watch this space.

 

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Like a Great, Wheezing, Lazarus. Only More So and with a Heroic Beard.

Just as the year started kicking off work-wise, I was stricken with the flu. Highlights included four solid days of migraines and a false dawn a couple of days ago whereupon I delivered a guitar for sale to the city centre and just about ended myself.  Symptoms have now died down to a mere wracking cough and occasional back wrenching sneeze, so it’s back to business.

I’m happy to tell you that the new Dog Moon Howl EP is called These Days and will be released (CD/download) during the month of March, which this year follows hot on the heels of February.  The actual date is not yet set, but we’re planning an end-of-the-month launch gig in Glasgow, so, you know, expect it around the end of the month.  Ish.  More news on this soon, including a teaser track to be brought to you via the magic of YouTube.

Once that’s all sorted, The Craig Hughes Two will be releasing our mini-album, Off the Cuff, culled from a live-in-the-studio session we recorded late last year.  With a running time just shy of a half hour, the tracks are a mixture of live regulars from m’back catalogue, now performed with significantly different duo-arrangements, and a couple of cover versions.  We’re just waiting to get the licensing sorted out for the covers so we can decide on a release date – it will be available on CD and download; tape release TBC.  A further update will follow once everything’s in place.

Things to have fallen significantly behind during this past near-fortnight of influenza induced inertia include blog updates and gig bookings, so I’ll be on those again properly as of later today.  Expect some updates over at Ritual Objects of Sight and Sound and to the gig pages of www.craighughes.net and www.dogmoonhowl.com presently.


Best Laid Part II

Brief update: there will be something of a flurry of Channel Nowhere activity over the next couple of weeks, so you can look forward (or not) to the release of the remastered Pennies On My Eyes on March 11th and a couple of gig announcements for both The Craig Hughes Two and Dog Moon Howl.  Promos will go out for Pennies just prior to the release date and a lyric video for new track No-One Cares If You Die will be up soon on YouTube.

Told you it was brief.


Coming Soon: Pennies On My Eyes

As mentioned last post, much of my time of late has been taken up with the remixing and remastering of new/old album Pennies On My Eyes.  This was originally a mini-album from 5 years ago which was released then as part of the split CD Graveyard Full of Blues with Sleepy Eyes Nelson.

The logic behind the remastering is simply that I was never happy with the original release.  For various reasons, I left the mastering incomplete along with alternate takes and whole songs.  In the meantime, despite its limited release – the CD was sold at gigs and from Europa Music in Stirling; the download was only available via my Bandcamp page (with the two halves of the project split up online, so Sleepy’s excellent Build That Coffin of Mine was available separately via Cheap Wine Records’ Bandcamp) – the albumette picked up its own head of steam, garnering a few good write-ups and an award nomination.  My Side of the Veil became a live favourite while Oily Old Rag gained a new lease of life as the Dog Moon Howl song Tenement Porch Dog.

As with my first release, the demo EP Broke, Lonely and Guilty, Pennies… was recorded at my then home studio, the Channel Nowhere Secret Facility, basically a converted walk-in cupboard.  Everything else I’ve released, under my own name or with Dog Moon Howl has been studio recorded and although there is a pleasing rawness to the original version of Pennies…, it sounds just too rough to me.  I was obsessed with pushing the bass and curbing the top end at that time, and the end result is frankly dull.  So, I’ve gone back in, brightened the sounds up, rescued a few additional tracks and compiled them together as a new, album length piece.

Of course, the original tracks remain lo-fi but hopefully with a touch more in the way of clarity and dynamics.  I’ve added a couple of touches I wanted to try at the time but dropped due to looming deadlines.  The three new tracks are Richter Scale for Heartache, which had already been recorded at the time the split CD was suggested although the mix was never completed, Stone With My Name Carved on It, a single-take moody, distorted solo slide guitar instrumental that I don’t even remember recording and No-one Cares if You Die, a banjo tune that started life as something else entirely.  I matched the rediscovered banjo track with an old unused lyric and Bob was quite suddenly your uncle.

The audio masters for Pennies on My Eyes are being completed this week.  Then it’s the turn of the artwork.  As soon as possible thereafter there’ll be a physical release (CD and, it looks like, tape) with downloads available via Bandcamp and from iTunes, Amazon, Spotify et al via international digital distribution from CD Baby.

Watch this space!


Stuff that’s happening.

There’s been a fair amount of Channel Nowhere activity recently, what with a run of solo/duo Glasgow gigs at The Howlin’ Wolf and Dog Moon Howl gigs at The 13th Note and Ivory Black’s, while music and movie blogs Tapes For My Walkman and Tapes For My VCR have been increasingly finding their feet.   Here’s what’s coming up.

LIVE STUFF

There will be one more Dog Moon Howl appearance (with Jim Dead & The Doubters at their album launch at The 13th Note on December 4th) which unfortunately will be your last opportunity to see the band live this year.  Bassist Bryan Campbell is having a knee operation which will put him out of commission for a while.  I’m a bit fuzzy on the details but essentially I believe he’s having his existing, faulty, knees replaced with cloned gorilla elbows which will be fitted backwards so that he can walk like a mantis.  Exciting stuff, but he will need some recuperation time afterwards, during which he hopes to complete the scale model of Tokyo he is building in his garage for destruction at a later date with his mutant mantis powers.

In the meantime, DMH drummer Ally Tennick and myself will be kicking the arse out of the live thing in our alt.roots/blues identity The Craig Hughes Two, including a turn for our friends at The Vagabond Social Club on September 27th at Nice’N’Sleazies, Glasgow.  For other dates, watch this space, or head over to www.craighughes.net.

STUDIO STUFF

Mastering is the key word for this month.  Work is underway on the remastering of Pennies On My Eyes which was originally a mini-album I put out about five years ago as part of the split CD (with Sleepy Eyes Nelson) Graveyard Full of Blues.  I was never happy with the original master/mixes and, due to running-time constraints and release deadlines – not to mention my rank incompetence – there were a few tracks recorded at the time which were never completed and therefore left off of the finished product.  Well, limited availability or not, Pennies went on to gain a bit of a life of its own.  A ‘fan favourite’, it picked up good reviews, an award nomination, was a Bandcamp staff pick and so on.  As a result, I’ve gone back to the original recordings and completed work on the unfinished tracks while properly mastering the whole project, now full album length.  This will be released in October or November (the original having been unavailable for a while now).

Before that, though, I’ll be working on the mastering of that new album from Jim Dead & The Doubters which is due for a December release.  I’ve heard the mixes and it’s good stuff – grungey, country-tinged rock.

VIDEO STUFF

Last time I did one of these news updates, I mentioned regular YouTube updates which have yet to start appearing.  They will though.  Honest.  Also, towards the end of the year I’ll be laying the groundwork for a documentary project.  More of that closer to the time.


2015, oh, right …

So, the first couple of months of the year are out of the way and I still haven’t updated this blog. Deary me. Well, there’ll be ‘proper’ news coming soon but in the meantime …

RECORDING

I’m currently in the final stages of putting together a sorta-kinda re-release-type-thing for May, plus there’s the wrapping up of a few older projects to get out of the way (whether for release or not we’ll see). There’ll be a new album by the end of the year. Probably.

LIVE

I’ve started the year with a string of solo gigs at Glasgow’s The Howlin’ Wolf and I’m there again on the 16th of this month with Ally Tennick back on percussion. Thereafter we’re looking to fill the booking calendar, particularly for the two-man lineup, as well as getting out there with Dog Moon Howl. Watch this space.

OTHER STUFF

I’ve also been heavily involved of late with ZenTone Guitars, having a hand in guitar design and building etc. We’ve just finished the “proof-of-concept” prototypes for two electric solid bodies – check out the website for more details.

More updates soon.  Honest.


Switchback No More

When I went full-time with this music malarkey, some six years ago now, I released an EP, not much more than a demo, called Broke, Lonely and Guilty.  Much to my surprise, it got a wee bit of attention – a couple of reviews, some local radio airplay and the likes.  This led (after, I believe, a good word being put in by The Dirt) to my being invited on to a local community radio station for my first ever interview/live-on-air session.  The station was Sunny Govan FM and the show was The Switchback, presented by Paul Clarkson.

Picture me, in a black cab, guitar by my side.  “You playing tonight?”  asks the driver.  It’s a night-time session and it’s already dark, the show starting at 10pm.  I’m running late.

“Aye, I’m on the radio,” says I, with no small measure of pride.  The driver is suitably impressed and, armed with the address (which I have written on my hand), he heads confidently Govan-wards.  However, once in the general vicinity, we drive around in circles for what seems like forever.  We are drawn to a couple of porta-cabins.  We pass them a few times, both of us certain that can’t be the place. “There should be some kind of big aerial mast” the driver says, and we duly crane our necks in every direction. Eventually, the driver gets out and asks for directions at one of the cabins.  He comes back to the cab shrugging his shoulders.  “Aye, this is it,” he says. “Just asked the guy – the aerial’s up the high flats.”

And so began the first of several nights I spent at Sunny Govan, which eventually moved to its current comparatively palatial headquarters in an actual building.  There was a greater element of washing mugs and making coffee than I’d entirely expected and Paul was a good guy (there are many good folks in the grass-roots music scenes but a fair few fannies as well) so I was put at ease straight away.  The end result was a relaxed session, the recording of which I released as a limited edition promo EP for the launch night of my first album a year or so later.  I’ve experienced a few other community radio setups since and Paul, despite his propensity for modesty in this regard, has a knack for getting a decent sound from the room using just a single mic – in sharp contrast to some of those others.

The Switchback was a great supporter of the Scottish and international grassroots americana/country/blues/folk scenes.  Pretty much the entire regular live roster of the old That Devil Music night I used to run and very many more all played sessions and received airplay there.  Paul played tracks from, I think, every release I’ve put out over this past five years as well as the work I’ve done with Jim Dead.  Where other early local media support had dried up, The Switchback was one of the main sources of airplay of my most recent album, Losers and Bastards, and it was much appreciated.

Inevitably, geography and real life took their toll and in the spirit of all good things coming to an end, The Switchback aired its last show on May 15th.  It was a good one, with much in the way of anecdotal reminiscence from Mr. Clarkson.  Some kind words about me there too, and an airing for a cool old session version of The TR7s Have All Gone To Heaven.  This post is really just intended as a wee “thank you” to Paul Clarkson whilst wishing him all the best for the future – your efforts on the show were always appreciated man and the grassroots scene will be poorer without your input.

Here’s the link to an MP3 of the final Switchback show – more than worth your time, trust me (I’m a guitarist).