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August 2013 CD Reviews


Eric Hughes


Drink Up

This is another one of those CDs that feels like slipping into your favorite slippers after a long hard day on your feet. You immediately have that warm fuzzy familiar feel about what you are listening to.  Of course having a drink in your hand wouldn’t hurt either and that is kind of what Mr. Hughes is suggesting you do on the title track “Drink Up.”  This high energy romp though the encouragement of pounding a few drinks back will get you moving around in your seat.  “That’s My Baby’s Mama” is a soulful and very catchy little tune about an ex or as the lyrics say “my old used to be.”  We find some sweet harp playing on the more traditional “Blues Musician.”  You can hear Hughes lamenting about being down and broken hearted, along with having holes in his shoes to go with an empty wallet.  “I’m only happy when I’m down and when I’m down and broken hearted, that’s when I get my sweetest sound.”

“Frostina” is my favorite song on this CD.  This funk laden trip through the tribulations of being with a cold hearted woman will have you really groovin’ on the fine guitar playing of Hughes.  Humorous lyrics have always been a favorite of mine when it comes to the Blues.  The song “Tested Positive For The Blues” brings to mind the humor of Albert Collins and Rick Estrin from his Little Charlie & the Nightcats days and yes, I have had the same diagnosis! “Mama Don't Allow” is a little acoustic track that takes you back in time.  Some of the funk resurfaces with the guitar and organ playing on Repo Man.

I am somewhat reminded of the TV theme song from Barney Miller on “Raining On Beale Street and I have to tell you that was one of my favorite TV theme songs ever.  I remember being pretty young, just laying on the living room floor, eyes closed and jammin’ in my head when that show would come on.  I couldn’t move too much or dad would have thought I was on drugs! “Going To Brownsville” is a distortion laden acoustic track that stays acoustic until about a minute in and from then on you have some electric hill country stomp/boogie to drive it home.  A picturesque story is painted on “The Ballad of Weevil Point Willie.” You know the stuff, money and guns along with some beautiful mandolin playing. “My Baby Got A Black Cat” closes this out CD and pretty much sums up how I feel about all cats but hey, that is a me problem!

Eric Hughes’ lead vocals, guitars and harmonica are backed up by Leo Goff on bass guitar and backing vocals - Walter Hughes on guitars, mandolin and backing vocals - Robert Nighthawk Tooms and Chris Stephenson on keyboards along with Doug McMinn on drums, congas and percussion.  I highly suggest that you pick up a copy and better yet, grab one at a live show. 

Ron Hoerter


Blues Foundation Affiliate