Review: Craig Hughes – Hard Times: Volume 1

Posted on: Tuesday, Jan 8, 2013

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Craig Hughes – Hard Times: Volume 1

(Channel Nowhere)

Glaswegian alt-bluesman Craig Hughes first came to our attention via his full length debut release, the eloquently titled “Pissed Off, Bitter And Willing To Share” which garned him some fine reviews in 2009 – on the six-track “Hard Times: Volume 1” he is in characteristic spiky form . . . with his gravelly vocals, tough guitar and gritty subject matter.

The opening “Promises, Promises” is a slide guitar-driven ode to the ‘demon drink’ and its associated issues – a strong opener which is followed by the electric riff of “He Loved Her And Sent Her To Hell” . . . a romantic tune with a devilish twist to it.  The (sort of) title cut, “Hard Times Every Day” is a sobering take on the tough climate we live in today – it’s just Hughes acoustic guitar and growl of a voice, and it’s clear he cares about this subject matter!

“Tapes For My Walkman” is an almost-Dubliners like folk tune complete with some fine banjo picking – it’s a retro-tune, and maybe a lament to the times gone . . . . “tapes for my Walkman, and a needle for my stereo” . . . I like it! “Left To Crawl” is again driven by his acoustic slide guitar, and the closing “Cave Full Of Woman Bones” is a gem . . . riding on a dirty-toned electric guitar groove, with some dark and amusing lyrics!

The so-called ‘alt blues’ may not be to everyone’s taste, but the likes of Hughes, fellow Glasgwegian Dave Arcari, L.R. Phoenix, Red Mouth, etc., must be applauded for their music, which certainly works for me!

GRAHAME RHODES

www.craighughes.net

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