AN AMERICAN RECORD

GRAYSON HUGH (Swamp Yankee Records, 2010)

In cart Not available Out of stock

(Excerpt from a review in CMAWorld.com by Bob Doerschuk)

"Hugh's recent personal and artistic achievements inform every track on his new album, 'An American Record'. This overlay of art and heart breathes a gospel air into the irresistibly churchy 'Tell Me How You Feel', paints a stark yet beckoning landscape on 'North Ohio', cranks up the funk in the cocky, horn-stabbed strut and haunting chanted coda of 'Swamp Yankee', hangs a lover’s plea over an elegant and unforgettable chorus hook on 'Give Me One Good Reason'' … Every track tells its story with a mix of passion, craft and impact that’s rare in our time. In flaunting the discipline and knack for accessibility that distinguished his earlier recordings and compositions, An American Record' confirms his return as a commercial as well as artistic force.



From the worst of his times, Hugh emerged with a strength and focus that filters now into his work. “I had to confront a lot of my faults, and that self-reflection has reformed my music,” he explains. “It got simpler because I learned how to let the feeling of a song distill in silence for months. They’re kind of cooking, so that when I actually write, it comes quickly.

”

It also empowered Hugh to find universal meaning in his lyrics, which draw from what he’s witnessed but convey that emotion directly to listeners and their lives. “For instance, ‘North Ohio’ came from my visiting my grandmother’s grave by the banks of the Maumee River in Ohio,” he explains. “But it’s about the emotion, not that specific place and time. Look at Thomas Wolfe: 'Look Homeward, Angel', 'You Can’t Go Home Again' and  'Of Time and the River'. Images of rivers figure prominently in them all. It’s all universal."



That, too, explains the range of 'An American Record', whose embrace is wide enough to encompass working-man’s rock, roadhouse blues, calls to glory answered from the amen corner, a smattering of jazz and more. “It’s a record and it’s American, with all kinds of musical references,” Hugh says. “There’s bluegrass, soul, funk, folk, rock … There’s no single musical theme, but it’s all human.”



It’s all human: In three words, that’s what Grayson Hugh has learned about music and its power to touch and move, inform and inspire. It also explains why he takes it personally when he hears something that fails to achieve these goals, to the point of almost taking it to the world on Facebook.



“I write for myself ultimately because that’s the way I spit out how I see the world,” he says. “It’s a cathartic process. But when a fan writes to me and says, ‘This affects me,’ that’s the payoff.”



With 'An American Record', the payoff is just beginning. To borrow a phrase from another writer of note, Grayson Hugh has been there and is back again. His story – our story – has to be heard."



-Bob Doerschuk, CMAworld.com, April 21, 2010

Read more… close
0:00/???
  1. 1
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    0:00/4:18
  2. 2
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    0:00/4:34
  3. 3
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    0:00/4:34
  4. 4
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    0:00/5:20
  5. 5
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    0:00/9:53
  6. 6
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    0:00/4:21
  7. 7
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    0:00/5:51
  8. 8
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    0:00/3:30
  9. 9
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    0:00/5:47
  10. 10
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    0:00/4:33
  11. 11
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    0:00/5:47
  12. 12
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    0:00/6:06
  13. 13
    In cart Not available Out of stock
    0:00/5:42
  14. 14
    0:00/1:02