Tag Archives: Jim Dead

Jim Dead Pray For Rain album launch. 13th Note, Glasgow. 4th December 2015

Dog Moon Howl had the pleasure of playing at Jim Dead & The Doubters’ album launch a couple of Fridays ago.  Despite technical problems with guitar effects and unusually crappy onstage sound for The 13th Note, our set went down a treat, Jim and co. played a blinder and a good time was had by all. Thanks to Paul Kerr at Blabber’n’Smoke for posting this splendid review …

Blabber 'n' Smoke

When Blabber’n’Smoke reviewed Jim Dead‘s new album  Pray For Rain  a few weeks ago we called him a “shamanistic weatherman.” We was only joking, honestly, but of course the album launch took place on one of the filthiest nights of the year, gale force winds blowing horizontal sheets of rain that numbed your cranial nerves. Think his next album should be called “Here Comes The Heatwave.” Anyhoo (as Mr. Dead likes to say) a grand crowd donned appropriate gear and headed to the basement of the 13th Note, attracted perhaps by the prospect of seeing three fine bands and getting a copy of the new disc all for the princely sum of a fiver, one bright spot on such a dreicht nicht.

The bloody weather actually meant your intrepid reviewer missed the opening act, Traquair & the Tranquilizers although verbal reports from the early birds were all positive. We…

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Pennies, Dog Moon Howl, Jim Dead and blogs and that.

So, Pennies On My Eyes will now be released at the end of February 2016.  The audio work’s all done but there was just no way to have the whole thing ready to go by the end of November – as originally planned – and there’s not much point in putting this kind of release out mid-December (or January for that matter).  So, February it is.  As ever, watch this space.

In what’s shaping up to be my last live outing of the year, I’m playing with Dog Moon Howl at The 13th Note, Glasgow, this Friday (4th) with Jim Dead & The Doubters in celebration of the release of their new album Pray For Rain.  I’ve heard it (I did the mastering, come to think of it) and do you know, it’s really rather good. Come along on the night and you’ll get a copy of the CD as part of your £5 entry fee.

Meanwhile, the writing practice continues. Tapes For My Walkman has recently been updated with a look at ZZ Top’s Tres Hombres (HERE) and Tapes For My VCR has just been updated with a review of ’90s bikers-and-explosions flick Stone Cold (HERE).  Please do feel free to give them a look.


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.


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.


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.


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.

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).

Dog Moon Howl update (and a live Craig Hughes Two video).

Work on Dog Moon Howl’s first album is in the mixing stages.  Currently sitting at nine tracks, produced by Alec Pollock of Chasar at his studio in Alloa, it threatens to be rather good.  Release and promotion details will start to get hammered into shape in the next few weeks (current thinking is a May release but that’s far from set in stone) – in the meantime, we have a gig on the books for Saturday, March 22nd with Glitterball Vegas and Traquair at The 13th Note in Glasgow.

I’m currently hitting up festivals and the likes for bookings (solo/duo and DMH) and the first solo booking of the year is for Foakies @ The Royal Oak in Edinburgh on June 2nd. Tying all this together, here’s a video of me and Ally Tennick (DMH drummist) playing as The Craig Hughes Two late last year, from the smartphone of Bryan Campbell (DMH basser).

A good gig and a nifty preamp and that.

I’ve been writing/arranging at an alarming rate for album #2, with the occasional sideline into Dog Moon Howl territory, so playing a gig with Jim Dead the other day was something of a welcome diversion.  You may or may not know that I’ve co-produced the last couple of releases by Jim, the album Ten Fires a couple of years ago and the recent I’m Not Lost EP.  I also played lead guitar and did a bit of backing vocals.  However, although we’ve played a fair few gigs on the same bill, we’d only ever actually played live together once, at the Ten Fires launch in the full-band guise of Jim Dead & The Doubters (with Tommy and James Duffin on drums and bass respectively).  With the I’m Not Lost sessions being a more stripped-down affair than Ten Fires – just Jim on acoustic guitar/vocals and me on electric guitars/backing vocals – it made sense that we could develop a live set from that without the logistical headaches of trying to do another full-band thing and so, after a quick run-through of the material at Jim’s gaff on Thursday, we were ‘ready’ to do a half-hour of material from the two above-mentioned projects for The Vagabond Social Club at The State Bar in Glasgow on Friday night.  It all went very well indeed and the audience reaction was encouraging – which bodes well for our next outing in Pivo Pivo – Glasgow again – next month (21st).

Guitar gearhead interlude: one interesting outcome of the gig was that I got to use a bit of kit I’ve had lying around for over a decade in a way that would have a lot of ‘traditionalist’ guitar players knotting their boxers in consternation.  For reasons too mundane to detail here, I couldn’t guarantee bringing an amp to the gig, so I took along my old Marshall DRP-1.  This is a gig-bag-friendly direct recording preamp, an old analogue unit intended to duplicate the sound and vibe of a Marshall stack, complete with speaker emulation.  Not a valve in sight and it predates digital modelling by quite some time.  As a recording unit, it has come in handy in the past and is very effective but I never really thought of running it straight to the desk at a gig until the other night – which is exactly what we did.  Not only did it work, but it worked bloody well, to the extent that several compliments for the guitar sound were forthcoming post-set.  From a playing perspective, no, it wasn’t as good as a decent amp – certainly not as responsive – but I’ll be bearing it in mind as a very handy wee backup in future.


Anyway, I’m back in about album #2 now, at least until Dog Moon Howl rehearsal this coming weekend (and gig the following Friday) …

Here’s a track from I’m Not Lost

Newsletter February 2013

Here’s my first newlsetter of 2013 for those of you not on the mailing list.  If you’d prefer to have this sort of thing clogging up your email inbox on a semi-monthly basis, then please send a mail to craighughes@channelnowhere.com with “add to list” as your subject-line.

Classic Rock Presents: The Blues Magazine

The Blues Magazine is the big new national publication from Classic Rock covering all things blues.  I’m chuffed to be able to say that the CD which comes free with the new issue (#5, in shops February 21st and available from most good newsagents, I should imagine) includes my track Left To Crawl which is from …

… The New Solo EP

Hard Times Volume 1 was released on November 5th 2012.  Response has been great so far; in addition to the inclusion of Left To Crawl on The Blues Magazine‘s CD, there have been some fantastic reviews online and in print (see below for a few quotes).   On top of all that, it was named as Best Blues EP of the Year by Canada’s Blues Underground Network in their Year End Review for 2012, and as one of their Top Picks for January 2013!   The first video from the EP, Cave Full Of Woman Bones, has also had quite a response – check it out HERE.

“…runs the gamut from acoustic blues to rockabilly mayhem … six songs, all crackers.”


“… an amazing picking guitar style whether electric or acoustic.  His vocal style is reminiscent of Tom Waits (very whisky soaked).”

Blues Matters! magazine

“… a dirty-toned electric guitar groove, with some dark and amusing lyrics!”

Blues In The Northwest

“A brilliant 6 track (no filler here) EP …”

New Adventures In Stereo

” … a cracking set of songs …”

Beat Surrender

“This is CRAIG HUGHES at his best, for sure.”

Loud Horizon

Hard Times Volume 1, along with my other releases is available on CD or as a pay-what-you-want download HERE.  It’s on iTunes, Amazon and all that too, of course.

The New Solo Album

 Work is well underway – songwriting, demoing and other preproduction – on my second album, which is on schedule to appear in the first half of the year (budget permitting).

The New Jim Dead EP

I play electric guitar and sing back-up on the new EP from Jim Dead, I’m Not Lost, which I co-produced with Tommy Duffin and Jim. The 6-track EP, complete with PDF lyric sheet, can be purchased in just about all your favourite digital formats for just £4.00. Click HERE to check it out.  More news on physical/wider digital release dates etc when I have it (or you could, of course, just head over to Jim’s excellent website at www.jimdead.com for updates).

Dog Moon Howl

The band is back in the rehearsal studio and sounding good.  Plans are afoot for our first album, likely to be recorded/released in the second half of the year.  See below for live dates, and visit www.dogmoonhowl.com for updates.  DMH will have its own newsletter soon – please let me know if you want to be added to that mailing list.


(more gigs and projects being announced soon– please keep checking the appropriate websites for upcoming dates)

Solo Gigs

The year’s live work kicked off in style at The Vagabond Social Club @ The State Bar on February 1st.  New bookings are being looked at now, with my next confirmed solo show being:

Saturday 25 May – The Big Joint, Glasgow “Big Blues Jam @The Juke Joint” fundraiser for Yorkhill Charity Foundation with Dirty Diamond and the Gunslinger, Gus Munro, Laura May’s Blue Rays etc.

Jim Dead Gig(s)

I’ll be playing some guitar with Jim Dead in support of I’m Not Lost during his upcoming Vagabond Social Club set.  We’ll likely be playing a few more shows together here and there as the year progresses.

Friday 12 Apr – The State Bar, Glasgow The Vagabond Social Club

Dog Moon Howl Gigs

Friday 22 Feb – Harbour Arts Centre, Irvine with Headless Kross + Hassium Night Rate

Saturday 08 June – The 13th Note, Glasgow with The Wulvers + Alkotron + Third Rail + 12LimbNerve