Chris Hughes is a guitarist, singer, and songwriter from Odessa TX currently residing in Galveston. He has been in the music scene for decades and has toured the nation in various acts. He is a multi-instrumentalist with a new release coming out soon called Seashack Recordings - Volume 1 that was recorded with Zak Perry.
Today, Chris plays in a duo with Randy Hulsey (Cypress TX Singer/Songwriter) where they play in and around south Texas.
Chris Hughes Master
Thu, 12/23 6:14AM • 1:21:43
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Randy Hulsey, Chris Hughes
Randy Hulsey 00:00
Hey people, I hope you all are well today with me this afternoon in the crystal vision Studios is an awesome musician that I met probably a year or so ago down in Galveston, Texas. Sometime later, I sat in on a couple of shows he was playing with a mutual friend and musician Zach Perry. Fast forward about six months or so, and he and I are now playing shows together almost on a weekly basis. When we come back, I'll get into a chat with my friend and fellow singer-songwriter Chris Hughes. So make sure you stay close by.
Chris Hughes 00:33
This is backstage pass radio, the podcast that's designed for the music junkie with a thirst for musical knowledge. Hi, this is Adam Gordon. And I want to thank you all for joining us today. Make sure you like subscribe and turn the alerts on for this and all upcoming podcasts. And now here's your host of backstage pass radio, Randy Halsey.
Randy Hulsey 01:02
Chris, great to see you, buddy.
Chris Hughes 01:03
Good to see you.
Randy Hulsey 01:04
Glad you were able to swing by the studio before our show out here in Cypress this evening. Creekwood grill We always enjoy jamming at Creekwood grill. So if you guys keep a lookout for Chris in mind schedule, I think we're there probably once a month is probably what it equates to probably every five weeks or so. But I wanted to talk to you a little bit about growing up in West Texas. So Odessa to be exact correct exactly what was lifelike as a kid growing up. I'm assuming you grew up in Odessa. Correct.
Chris Hughes 01:40
Yeah, gotcha. So when I was about four years old, my parents were in the oilfield and they got transplanted there. Both of them had gone to o u and came down Desson had jobs in the oil field. And we just started out there and so it's extremely flat. It's extremely dry. And there was a lot of good old boys and all that kind of stuff and a tumbleweed or two floating around Tumbleweed or two. Yeah. So
Randy Hulsey 02:07
the parents were from Oklahoma originally, or where were they from? Originally?
Chris Hughes 02:13
Dad was from Oklahoma. Mom was in the Houston area had grown up. Actually, mom grew up in Houston and I believe she went to Memorial High School. So
Randy Hulsey 02:24
okay, so she had roots here. And she has
Chris Hughes 02:27
roots here. And they both Yeah, wound up at ODU and met there.
Randy Hulsey 02:30
Okay. And do you remember much about what life was like growing up there as a kid
Chris Hughes 02:36
going Odessa? Yeah. It was great. Yeah, it was fantastic. It was one of the best places in the world to grow up because that was a real tight-knit community. There wasn't anything to do there. We made our own fun lots of bike riding and stuff like that. But you know, insert for me, it's six years old. I start playing guitar and in between, you know, sports and motorcycles and girls and everything. I took up guitar at six years old and wound up plunking around in the garage. Yeah, having people poke fun at me because I sounded like crap.
Randy Hulsey 03:11
Well, they say you got to go through hell before you get to heaven. Right. I
Chris Hughes 03:14
guess we're still
Randy Hulsey 03:17
Well, I think there's a what word? Am I looking for a like been on a plane before where I was flying into Houston. And there was a couple next to me and they're looking out the window is we're starting to get low enough to see the terrain of Houston they're like, Wow, there's a lot of trees in Houston like and I think the mindset of people as they stereotype, Texas is the wild wild west and there are no trees, there's no vegetation. And I think that that's kind of the vision I have of West Texas because I've never really spent time in West Texas. So I think of the Permian Basin, I think of Midland and Odessa as just the wild west with tumbleweeds, right up into Abilene and you know,
Chris Hughes 04:02
you're and you're pretty much correct because it's just, it's big, it's flat and there's a lot of tumbleweeds and across the plains you know it's they say that in in West Texas, it's the only place in the world that you can watch your dog run away for two weeks. And he just keeps going and even watching him go like no end in sight, no end in sight.
Randy Hulsey 04:27
He's Yeah. You might have mentioned this earlier, and I didn't catch it. How long did you live in Odessa?
Chris Hughes 04:33
I lived in Odessa until I was probably almost 30 years old when I went on my first set of tours and I left with Steve O'Neill and he was based out of Albuquerque New Mexico and so it was kind of a culture shock for me because Odessa Texas at that time was 95 100,000 people and we went from there and we went toured all over the country and everything but we We're based out of Albuquerque, New Mexico, which was considerably bigger than Odessa. And so it was kind of strange for me.
Randy Hulsey 05:06
Yeah. I gotcha. And then do you remember around what year it was that you left the Odessa area and took off on tour?
Chris Hughes 05:16
Probably 80 980-988-8990. Somewhere around there but took me a long time ago and I drank a lot.
Randy Hulsey 05:25
You forgot more than you ever knew. Yeah, it's sometimes my memory of things way back is better than asking me what I had for lunch yesterday. I'm not going to remember that. But for some reason, I remember here and Paul McCartney and Wings playing in an elevator in Anaheim, California in 1978. Why did I remember that? But like I said, I don't remember if I had a happy meal or McNuggets yesterday. Is there anything about West Texas that you missed? versus, you know, I know you're down on the island in Galveston now, the Houston area Galveston
Chris Hughes 06:03
and people. Yeah, people of West Texas are where it's at. Okay. And I have, you know, I still have great family there. My cousin Jason and Bessie and Mark and Bob and Ronnie and Dez. And, and, and Shay and all the family down there, they, you know, over the last couple of years, I spent a lot of time down there. Work and, and stuff like that. And so, but I went to high school down there and up there I said, I guess I should say, and so it's, that is the thing about that everybody remembers about West Texas people.
Randy Hulsey 06:41
And it's not it's not tech. Well, compared to Houston. It's small town, but it's not really small town, but it's that small town mentality.
Chris Hughes 06:50
Yeah, because so Jessa is probably well, now it's over 100,000. At that time, it was around 100,000 Midlands, 20 miles away, and it was about 100,000. And now they've kind of grown together. Yeah. And so the area has grown quite a bit. And now of course, with oil, it's exploded. There. It's gone. It's gone nuts. And so the people, it has grown exponentially faster than the infrastructure of the area can handle or man so it's just gone crazy. That
Randy Hulsey 07:24
makes sense. Well, my neighbors that are right across the street from me, they're not from Midland, Odessa. But they did go to school in Lubbock at Tech. So both of my neighbors went there. And now both of their kids are at Tech and Lubbock. And they love Lubbock like they are very highly well, even though from Lubbock.
Chris Hughes 07:44
That's exactly the thing about love because well is because when I was touring with Steve O'Neill, which spent a considerable amount of time down there playing in Lubbock, and cash Yeah, fantastic place.
Randy Hulsey 07:57
Yep. And do you remember you So you mentioned you started playing the guitar at six years old is that when did you really start? Do you think getting into music I'm sure it's six years old. You know, you're making some sounds on the guitar. And we
Chris Hughes 08:15
started getting into the, about the time we moved to Odessa, my parents had a couple of records that they had. One of the records they had was the adventures album and the back end adventures album was a Mosrite electric guitar. And I remember sitting there on the living room floor land there, listening to that album, and just dreaming a plan. And I bugged him and I bugged him and bugged them. And so finally they wound up getting me a guitar when I was about six years old. So I started early. As soon as I got that one, I started playing and started bugging him for an electric guitar. And so we can take a job they probably made me play the acoustic for about two years before I got the electric but I knew really early exactly what it was I wanted to do.
Randy Hulsey 09:04
That's a common denominator of almost all of the musicians that I've had on my show, is it's like they knew the first minute they did a B or C. That was music-related that that was it. Yeah, I
Chris Hughes 09:19
think the most the most common one that I've ever heard was I was watching the Beatles play on Ed Sullivan and I knew Yep, blah blah blah Sure. Same kind of thing. You know, that that same type of epiphany.
Randy Hulsey 09:36
Yep. And they say that you know, if you if you learn on the acoustic you can play it on the acoustic you can play it on just about anything right because the acoustics usually probably a little bit tougher to play than a than electric guitar with lighter gauge strings. Yeah,
Chris Hughes 09:51
I'm learning was considerably different back then than it is now or you can you know, a kid can get on YouTube and go find out how to play anything and Back then, you know, you put an album on the turntable, and they throw an acoustic guitar at you, and you beat the hell out of it until you figured out how to make a sound or whatever. And so actually figuring out how to play with records didn't come till a few years later, sir. And that was actually my first figuring out how to play rock is I stumbled across the power cord when I was over at my brother's house listening to a Black Sabbath record, like the Black Sabbath paranoid album. Yeah. And I learned that power chord. And I guess it was all downhill. From there. That's all
Randy Hulsey 10:39
it took. Yeah, yeah. And I think kids are learning, probably just in a fraction of the time that it took you and I as kit, but we didn't have the learning materials, we didn't have YouTube, we didn't have tablature there who heard of tat, there was no such thing as a tablet or we were the hell out of a record or cassette tape or CD, whatever error you kind of grew up in. But you listen to that thing over, rewind over, over, over until you ingrain the sound into your head and then you went back and you mimic
Chris Hughes 11:11
the other side of that coin is is that I come across so many people now that play in a niche. And so as far as improvising or just picking up your guitar and jamming, with people across multiple styles, whether it be playing some rock or some blues, or even, you know, plunking at some jazz or whatever it is, there, their skills at improvisation aren't nearly as good as some of the people who just came up playing everything and playing by ear. Absolutely. You know, it's I don't want to stereotype. But I think that's, that's kind of generally true to the guys who came up a little bit older one that being able to jam and improvise across more styles than some of the guys that are coming up today learning off of YouTube, learning one style of music, whatever.
Randy Hulsey 12:05
Sure. And I have to say that when you I don't know that you necessarily have to be an accomplished guitarist. But you have to have the foundation if you have the foundations of keys playing in certain keys, like, you're a prime example of that. Whether you know, the night we played at Creekwood you're up there playing stuff with me, you and I never rehearsed before we started playing shows together. Because you have the foundation and you have the knowledge to be able to say he's in this key. And then you get the rhythm of the song, and then you it's feel for you.
Chris Hughes 12:38
Things all fail. Yeah, because I don't know how to read music. I don't know how to read tablature I don't know how to do any of that sort of thing. And it's a detriment. i It's not something I'm proud of. But I've tried to make the best of it, you know, and so you tell me kind of what key we're in and off we go. Sure. That's one of the reasons that Zach and I play so well. Absolutely. They're in some of the other guys. You know, that's one of the reasons that or Steve when I was playing with Steve, I was primarily a bass player. And it's one of the things that I'd kind of take pride in and want to be as a best Sideman. I've never really wanted to be the star. I've always wanted to be a really good Sideman, I'm able to play whatever it was, I was called in play what it was, whether it was a bass part or a guitar part or a vocal part or whatever.
Randy Hulsey 13:25
Yep. Well, I kept hearing from a mutual friend of ours down in Galveston before I met you, I kept hearing, Chris Hughes, Chris Hughes, Chris Hughes, Chris Hughes. And I'm like, Who is this guy, Chris Hughes. I hear his name all the time. And then I, you know, fast forward, I go, and I see you and Zach play, and I'm like, Oh, this is Chris Hughes. But I didn't realize and we'll get into this a little bit later, but I didn't realize that you had been tied to Zach, and the band, you know, Zach's band before that. So it all kind of starts making sense in my head kind of where you're from, and you know, that kind of thing. Right? Right. But it took me a little bit of peace in the things together. I just kept hearing the name and I'm like, Okay, I'm sorry. I don't know who Chris Hughes is right? Just like he doesn't know.
Chris Hughes 14:12
Once again, when I started playing with Zach I was playing bass. And when I started playing down in Galveston, I was playing bass as well with a guy named skip Devlin, who's just an incredible guitar player. Yeah. And I'm not sure what he's playing now, but I was playing with bass with him as well. And so, you know, it's always you know, been one of my things to kind of stand you know, be in the shadows a little bit more. Sure. You know, yeah. Let somebody else be the star.
Randy Hulsey 14:39
Absolutely. And a lot of people are okay with that. I mean, you look at so many backup singers that backup singer for Dylan or Aerosmith or Motley Crue, you know, they all had backup singers on tour with them. And those people in their own right or, I mean, they make me look like you know, crap from from a vocal perspective, right, but they're in The background they are not. They could be out front somewhere, but they don't. That's not what they choose to do, apparently, or they would have chosen something else. I guess so everybody knows their place, right?
Chris Hughes 15:11
As a good side, man, you can work and consistently work, you know?
Randy Hulsey 15:16
Yep. Well, you said that you aren't, you're self-taught. There's really no music theory background for Chris Hughes at all. And I see that split so many people that I've talked to, they don't have a theory background. And there's really, there's nothing at all wrong with that. And some of the best musicians don't have a theory background, I have a little bit of both, even though if you put, if you put the guitar and mine in your hand, people would say, oh, Chris, you know, Chris is a far better player than you. And he's more so much more knowledgeable than you. But you really don't know what the you know what I'm saying. So playability doesn't mean that you don't have a music background and
Chris Hughes 15:57
all that. And that plays out, you can see that time and time again, you know, with any conductors, a perfect example of that guy might not be able to play every instrument up there, but he knows what every instrument is doing, and needs to do. And can hear the difference when I say, you know, and I did get a little bit of theory and a little bit of formal education and I went to a year of college, out of high school course mom was saying, you got to go to school, you got to go to school, you got to go to school. What are you gonna do? I said, Well, okay, fine, I'll go and I'll take all music. Then I found out real quick that I got any above my head,
Randy Hulsey 16:39
or I took many years of theory, I sang in the choir, in school, and they teach a lot of music theory, how to read music, like and understand half steps, whole steps and how the voice needs to acclimate to those changes. And I, I'm dumb, like, I'm a dumb musician, compared to so many help there. I mean, there is so you never stop learning music. It's like, it's kind of like you made the comment about letting the dog run in Odessa. And he'd be lost for you know, two weeks. It's the same thing in music. I mean, you can study and study and study and still not know everything there is to know about music. That's amazing.
Chris Hughes 17:18
Perfect champers. All the people that I had, when I went to college, all of those kids had been in school played music for years and could read me read music on their individual instruments, and many of them were the best in their sections if their individual schools. But as far as improvising a solo or any other most of them, I had no clue on how to do that. So they could read music, and they could play their instrument relatively well, they could do pretty good. But when it came to jamming, couldn't happen. And so you know, and you know, and for me, that was one of the hardest things was trying to get my theory and my music education caught up to where my playing ability was, and I still struggle with that today, you know? Sure.
Randy Hulsey 18:05
Well, I think for me, it was always the, I don't have the best voice in the world compared to so many. But I think I haven't a good enough voice to go out and do what you and I do together. But I was able to say keep the instrumentation or the instrumental part, simple because you can add your vocals in there and deliver something. Whereas I think sometimes people will say, Well, I don't really I'm not a good singer. So I'm going to be a great lead player, I'm going to be flashy, and, and that way, and I don't think that's the case for everybody. But I think that everybody kind of knows their their role like you sing play Lee play rhythm you play, you do everything, right. Whereas I don't. If I play a lead, it's so simple, like how to consider myself a lead guitarist. And you're either you either understand that and the building blocks of that the scales or the, the cage system or whatever. I mean, there's a bunch of different ways to play leads, but you either get it or you or you don't it's kind of like programming a software like either know how to do it, or you don't know how to do it, there's no dabbling so
Chris Hughes 19:15
much of it, you know, it's been especially for somebody like me, so much of it is just repetition, and, and hand training and things like that for a person who plays by ear because just like anybody else, you looked at a circle and now you've looked at a circle so many times, you don't have to recognize it, that you don't have to stop and think hey, that's a circle. You just know it's a circle and exactly what same thing, music playing, whether it's guitar, bass or whatever, after a certain amount of time, and that's, that's why practice.
Randy Hulsey 19:49
Yep, I agree. And you talked a little bit about you were playing bass with Zach and I guess played bass in the past. Are there any other instruments that Chris considers that he's an instrumentalist around, like, can you play the saxophone? And you know what I'm saying? Or is it really just a string glad the guitar and the bass is really your forte. And everything else is just kind of
Chris Hughes 20:16
play guitar and I played bass, I sing, I play at the drums, and all of the things that I've learned had been kind of out of necessity, but you know what I need, I want to do so and so. So the only way that we can do is learn me learn how to do it, you know, and so and that's kind of how I learned drums. And so I can hold down a groove. But between those three, I can generally get ideas down, I can record and do the things that I need to do.
Randy Hulsey 20:41
Yep, that makes sense. And if you could play another instrument outside of what you play today or know how to play, and you could play it as well, as you say, you play the guitar. What would that other instrument be?
Chris Hughes 20:53
I would most certainly be a drummer. But other than that, I probably at this time would I probably play a sax because Oh, I like sax. My wife likes sex a lot, you know? Yeah. Well, you got to keep by learn how to play sax, and maybe I get in the good graces.
Randy Hulsey 21:18
Maybe she'll feed you dinner one.
Chris Hughes 21:21
piss her off really good sometime and I could walk in the house while
Randy Hulsey 21:30
you're figuring it all out as we go. I
Chris Hughes 21:32
know. Always gotta have a plan. Man always hustling right?
Randy Hulsey 21:39
So you're now a resident of Galveston by way of Magnolia Texas. So talk to me a little bit about did you? You left Odessa you went on the road? You did whatever. Then you landed in Magnolia somehow talk to me a little bit about how did you find Magnolia and then from there, what took you from Magnolia down to the island
Chris Hughes 22:02
right after I came off the road. Went back to Odessa played for a while with the Chris Hughes band. We played there for a little bit things. In West Texas. There wasn't a lot going on. So I wound up moving to Houston. Wasn't in Houston. But about six months. The first people that I met when I got to Houston, the very first audition interview that I went on, I got hired for that band. And it wasn't as soon as we learned our material. We went from Houston to International Falls Minnesota for a one-night gig. And we started our first tour. And when we came back, I wound up moving to Magnolia because the keyboard player at the time had bought a had a lot of place out there in Magnolia and so it just seemed like a logical place for us all to kind of hole up where we were closing. So that's where I kind of wound up out in Magnolia. Okay, and
Randy Hulsey 22:59
then how long were you in Magnolia.
Chris Hughes 23:01
I was in and out of Magnolia for several years because we in and out tour and back and forth. And then I finally came back and I lived in Magnolia and went straight from being on tour to being the reproduction manager who petroleum consultants company and the assistant to the Vice President of Information Systems. And so it's kind of culture shock. I immediately stayed out there for a couple of years until probably 2006 started working down in Galveston worked down there for a couple of years and I wound up moving there in 2010 So I've been in Galveston ever since then,
Randy Hulsey 23:46
there is a song that you wrote that has Magnolia in the title and it's a song that you frequently play in our shows and I was wondering if you would grab the Gibson and maybe tell the listeners a little bit about the song maybe what your thoughts were around the song when you wrote it and then share it live here on the show.
Chris Hughes 24:06
Be honored. Essential and honest to goodness this is just one of those things who are always sitting out on the front porch and Magnolia Texas. And just had grabbed the acoustic had the grill going popsicle bear, listening to the breeze and strummed a little bit and this is the team that came out. It's called Magnolia Oaks.
Randy Hulsey 27:11
That's Magnolia Oaks by my friend Chris Hughes here in the studio, Chris, great work. I know the crowd always enjoys the instrumental I think it's a little deviation from what we do for sure, because we're always singing songs from playing the guitar. So a nice instrumental comes across nicely, sometimes certainly a deviant. So thanks for sharing that with us. And do you prefer playing music on the island? Or? And plead the fifth on this? Do you prefer playing music on the island? Or is the preference to get off of the island? I don't know if there's a vibe on the island that you get that you don't get in the city or a vibe you get in the city that you don't get on the island? And is there a preference one way or another for you as a musician?
Chris Hughes 28:01
As far as playing? I don't necessarily know that so much. The island is has its own attitude. And you kind of carry that with you everywhere, right? Most of us on the island was say that we avoid going off over that bridge at any cost. Unless we're going to make some money or you know, something like that. And so you kind of carry that with you. But so that being said, now performing anywhere is good when the crowds receptive and it's good, and the music's good. That's a great thing. But you can't care. I have learned to carry that island with me. Yeah, and that's a good thing.
Randy Hulsey 28:40
And that's, uh, it's interesting, because I've not only seen you play, I've seen Zach play down, you know, that shark ease. I've played some tunes with you guys at the poop deck. And it's definitely for the city guy coming down to the island. It's definitely a locals only kind of vibe. Like I mean, there's you can tell that there's people that you have the Islanders and then you have the Randy's that come out there you can and I can tell the difference in the two and I think in only say that because I think it's just a little more laid back. You know, the dress this dress down there. I think it's just real casual. And you can tell that, you know, that guy in the corner is an island guy and that guy might have driven over the bridge to the town or a little salty. Well, you have to be to live down there. You don't have a choice, I don't think Tell me about your musical influences. You know, you talked about starting out real young learning to play the guitar. You love the guitar who influenced you? I know you talked about the one album that your parents had, but there had to have been other musicians along the way other bands that you know for some of my people that have been on the show, it was the Beatles for some it was Mitch Mitchell from From Hendrix, you know, the drumming Chahal of Mitchell and who was it for you or who were some of the people
Chris Hughes 30:06
it's real funny because the first records I got were actually, you know, Mom music and she went to Hungary and she got me a record player and the first two records, she went to Gibson discount center right around the corner and came back with Alice Cooper School's out, and James Gang rides again. And I had it was like, sixth grade, fifth sixth grade. And she pops these bad boys on me and up until then, you know, it was the ventures and and, you know, listen to some credence in Donny Osmond was real popular at that time, your show throws out to James Gang and Alice Cooper. And I got to a had a girlfriend that was an eighth grader who I was in sixth grade and she gave me a copy of Deep Purple machine head. And so that that kind of stuff is where I was cutting my teeth. James Gang, Alice Cooper, Deep Purple Led Zeppelin Leonard Skinner and Pat Travers was a huge influence of mine, just the way he played the sound, his song songs Van Halen was a big influence all those kinds of guys and when you listen to me play now, it's not an AS, especially in the acoustic stuff, you wouldn't necessarily think that but that's where my playing came from. Well, it
Randy Hulsey 31:30
sounds like a melting pot. Like it was still a little bit everything in for you, just like you said, for me even it was, you know, I was I was down with the Motown sound. I love the Motown story I loved I love the Hard Rock. I love the easy rock, what we call yacht rock now, right, I was never, you know, of course, rap really didn't come till much later. I was never, I wouldn't say that. I'm so much a rap guy. But I wasn't so much a country guy either. But when I started playing solo shows back in 2016. I said you got to get your arms around some of that stuff that calls Yeah, you can't go and play the shows as a solo artist, and not know Folsom Prison Blues and write some of the classics on the on the acoustic
Chris Hughes 32:15
end for musicians. I'm not sure that there was ever that huge of a division, musically and styles, you know, rock players love the Motown their soul stuff, all that kind of stuff. And until disco came? Sure. And then there was huge division that that kind of came between musical styles and things kind of started going weird from there.
Randy Hulsey 32:39
But yeah, well, I'm also you know, we talked about, I think there was a lot of haters of the disco era. And I wouldn't say that I was a huge disco fan. But I believe that some of the greatest singer songwriters that ever have ever walked the planet were the brothers gib from the 80s. Right?
Chris Hughes 32:56
That would have been one of my prime examples of something good that came out of that era. Yep. And even at the time, I wouldn't have told you that then I would have said they're a bunch of hacks and and they, they suck. Yeah, but it I've grown up since then, to try understand what it was that they did within the business and what they did within their own style and how they reinvented themselves and how they completely reinvented music in a lot of ways. You know, looking back on it now, you know, after all these years, it's a little bit easier to get ahold of what it was that they were doing at the time. You know, I had no clue.
Randy Hulsey 33:38
Well, I think I don't know that people really took disco all that serious musically, right. I mean, there was a lot of good music that came out of the disco air. I mean, there was some great songs that came out with you, I believe. But you know, the songwriting styles of the Bee Gees you know how many number one hit songs did they have? I mean, they wrote for Dolly Parton they did Islands in the Stream, they did work with Celine Dion, they worked with Whitney Houston and I mean, they wrote hit songs for all of those people and people don't even realize that true
Chris Hughes 34:10
true and and, you know, once again, a lot of that stuff had become so formulaic and it's you know, it's it and that's recognizing what was catching and writing to that formula and all that stuff and so yeah, there are some good things about that once you recognize what it is you can write to that formula and begin to write hits better than the other side of that coin is is that as you write to a formula like disco when you get that three minute song has to be three minutes has to be in and out. You know, we start with a verse we do of course we got to bridge we do verse chorus bridge and we're out and we got to do it within three minutes. It takes some of the artistic choice away from the artist you know, if you're if you're writing for a three minute song You know, it's difficult to put too much more in and out.
Randy Hulsey 35:04
Yeah, I get that. Well, would you say that songwriting comes easy for you or is songwriting a struggle for you because I've always said, and I've mentioned it in multiple podcasts, that you're either a lyricist or your lyrical airhead. Like you either couldn't write a song or you can't write a song and I didn't know from your, from your vantage point, songwriting easy for you hard for you.
Chris Hughes 35:30
I say it's hard for me. And the reason I say that is because I don't write a lot of what I do, right generally comes to me. And it flows out pretty quickly. Very rarely do I take a song and work on it for a long, long period of time, it usually I either cough it up really fast, or whatever it but and so lyrically, it's hard for me to write certain things. Sure, the happy go lucky song, it's hard for me to write I tend to write melancholy and, and try to find some big deep meaning and everything and, and let's face it, you know, it's hard to write a whole album worth of songs where everything has a deep meaning in a lesson involved, and you stop and ponder. And so it's difficult for me. And so I like to write with people I like to play with people who are good writers. Yeah. And that was one of the fortunate that's, I've been very, very fortunate to work with two guys who are extremely good writers, Steve o nail, was a fantastic writer, he just got the one in two New Mexico music records. One of the chains that he was one of the chains that he had on this record and had had won an award had been recorded for different times, we've recorded it on one of his records. And he just kept going at it. And so he was a, he's a very good pop writer and writes good ballads. And Zack Perry is, to me, one of the best lyricist, period, and certainly something that the Texas songwriter sang should be proud of. And so I was really fortunate to work with both those guys. And studying what they do has helped me a lot, you know? Sure. Well,
Randy Hulsey 37:17
that's a nice compliment. You know, about Zack being that I know him personally, hopefully his head doesn't get too big after you've given them a nice compliment like that.
Chris Hughes 37:27
I've got pay him for. There's money handy. Okay, you know, he's
Randy Hulsey 37:35
got to have a cheeseburger right? Yeah, I'm a cheeseburger from time. Would you say that the songs that you do, right? Or they come in from true life experiences mostly or they more? Let me just pick a pick a word and right around the word like it's a, you know, it's not even a true story. Certainly
Chris Hughes 37:55
true life experiences. Yeah, most certainly. And there may be an experience that a family members had. And I will write from it from first person. Yeah, you know, sure. But certainly, all right, best things that I've felt. Yeah, yeah.
Randy Hulsey 38:14
Yeah, I would agree with you about Zach. I've really paid attention to the songwriting of his over the few years that I've known him. And I think when he was in France, he wrote a song called Little Ponies. And it was, I don't know, it's just interesting how the song came about, and how quickly they seem to come to Him. And that's why I said earlier, you're either a lyricist, or you're a lyrical airhead, and you can't think of anything to write about, but he takes a pony and turns it into a song.
Chris Hughes 38:44
Once again, you know, it's the kind of thing where it's like any other muscle that you that you have, you know, he didn't, he didn't develop lyrical prowess by not writing absolutely rights. A lot of guys got 15 albums out, you know, and I was just real fortunate to be able to have worked with him in the past. And then when he came back from France, this time, it was kind of a surprise to both of us that he was back here. And subsequently also, it's it was kind of neat to be able to be in a position where we could record and we had, by the time he left, he had finished his parts and got a sick song, kind of a glorified EP that's ready to go right now. It'll be mastered in Austin at Terra Nova studios. Just soon, it'll be dropping probably within the month or so.
Randy Hulsey 39:35
And I'm looking forward to that. I know you and I joke a little bit about how long it's taken to get that out, but I'm looking forward to hearing it. I've heard a lot about it.
Chris Hughes 39:44
One more joke, and I'm going to quit.
Randy Hulsey 39:49
So it's time for Randy's commercial. If there's any lead guitarist out there that are looking for work. I don't know how much longer we'll be working together.
Chris Hughes 39:58
Yeah, we're gonna we're gonna be him. together about one more. And the way things go around here, that's about five minutes.
Randy Hulsey 40:08
That's about four minutes longer than I thought it would be. But Dan Fogelberg said years and years ago in an interview, he said, If I wrote one song in my life, it would have been leader of the band. And he said, That's my song. That's the one that I'm the most proud of. What is your leader of the band? Song For You? What if you could scrap everything that you've done? And you only wrote one song in your life that you've written? What song would that be for Chris Hughes?
Chris Hughes 40:42
Picking from my vast catalog of songs at this point? Probably. Probably, if I and the only reason I say that is because if I essentially the lyric and foi, when I wrote it, I sat back and I pondered, you know, so many people have that that thought in their mind, man, if I only had you know, we finally had a little bit of money I could so and so we're finally had and they ponder man if and so I just kind of ran with that a little bit if I had some money if I had a girl if I had, and so of the ones I've written, that's probably one of the plainest the most natural turns that came to me real easy and as a matter of fact, that's one of the ones that Zack helped me write that one and we also wrote it half of it in Odessa, Texas really when we're down there from my for a high school reunion so
Randy Hulsey 41:49
interesting. And I really didn't think about this or planet but would you care to share that song you felt like picking and singing that if not no big deal but
Chris Hughes 43:16
Randy Hulsey 46:23
Oh Nice job, Chris. Thanks for sharing that song I know I caught you a little off guard with asking you to play that. But you know what what I've never probably shared with you that while there was really I guess never really a time or a place to share it. But when you play your songs on stage and our shows together, I almost enjoyed just watching you play, you know, and I love that I love music. I'm very attentive with music. Yeah, I get just as much enjoyment of watching you and watching others play versus myself. Like I'd rather just do that. That's just the way I've always been.
Chris Hughes 47:09
Our thank you so much I've been I really like to be in a listening environment. And it's so difficult these days. You know, acoustic singer songwriters depend so much good ones depend on people who sit and listen, as opposed to carrying on conversation doing all things that it's so difficult in bars sometimes for a singer songwriter, especially when you're doing original music and stuff like that, you know?
Randy Hulsey 47:39
Well, you've met my buddy Mark down at Clancy’s. He was my musical mentor for many, many years. I remember driving down San Felipe one night in here and this amazing voice and the guy was just shredding a 12 string guitar. And I'm like, Oh, let me pull in there and see what's happening. And it just so happened to be Mark playing on there that night. And we became good friends over the years, he wound up playing at my and Terri’s wedding reception. And I spent some time in California with him. And I always I can remember seeing hundreds seeing him play hundreds of times. And I always watched his stuff intently. Just like I'd never seen him before. Like it never got old to me. And he said, Randy, you if everybody was like you, an audience like you guys like me would have it made. And he said I don't. And he told me this. Probably about six months ago, he texted me and he said, you know you and Chris sound phenomenal. Together, you get better every time I see you. He said, but I don't envy you these days sitting in these places and playing with people on their cell phones and watching TV. And he's like, it's a different time now than when I came. You know I didn't It's tough. It's tough to pilot because we're delivering a story. Right? And it's almost like somebody's talking to you. And you just keep watching TV on. I mean, it's a little disheartening. So I'll
Chris Hughes 49:13
be real honest. I mean, it to be perfectly honest. That is one of the primary reasons that I don't go out and play more often. I mean, for most people would think well, if you Gosh, you could play 567 nights a week are fantastic. And in all reality as a sideman, you probably I probably could find 3456 nights a week to go play and stuff like that. But it's really difficult to navigate, that kind of thing. And so you wind up taking less in order to fly to places that have more people that appreciate what you're doing. If that makes any sense.
Randy Hulsey 49:54
It makes 100% sense and I've said it a million times before To me, and I'm saying it because I don't make a living playing music, I have a nine to five that I go or eight to five that I go work. So it's a little bit different of a thought process. But I say it from the heart. I would rather I mean, the applause means more to me than a $5 bill in my tip jar most certainly, me because that's what that's what fuels guys like you and I, to write songs to perform songs to come and deliver a three and a half minutes story through a set of six strings and your vocals, right, just the clap. And sometimes you don't you don't even pull that from some of these places. And it's, you know, I don't ask for much, I really don't. But that applause means everything that that's what fuels us to keep go, it certainly
Chris Hughes 50:49
didn't hurt. And I'll say this also is that there was a point in time that I lived off that applause and if I didn't get that, and I'd actually retired, because I we weren't making any money and be, you know, they didn't appear that we were getting the attention that we deserved. And so that really got to me. And as a matter of as a result of that I wound up retiring for several years. In between 2013 When I at the time when I live Zach's ban until 2017, I had pretty much just given up musical together. And thank goodness, it wasn't the applause or anything else that got me back. It was the music. It was just the music and kind of cold to me. So yeah, the applause is great. And I don't you know, and that's one of the reasons that I continue to go out and do the thing. But it's certainly isn't the amount of money that we make as players doing what we do.
Randy Hulsey 51:51
Sure. Well, I agree 1,000%, that the guys that are doing this for a living unless you've got a record contract with a major label. Musicians are probably not making the kind of money that a lot of people think that they're making. So you know, a choice.
Chris Hughes 52:08
Sure, Mike, it's a sacrifice thing. You i sacrifice X amount of comfort in my life to be able to play music for a living.
Randy Hulsey 52:17
Sure. So well. So that's, you know, that's kind of a segue into the listeners that are out there here in this story from two musicians sitting across the table. When you're at these different places, restaurants or bars or whatever. Just simple applause just sometimes is, is what gets us from one show to the next right. Yeah, a
Chris Hughes 52:37
little bit of applause. You know, pay attention, maybe a buck in the tip jar over now and walk up and tell the guys they're doing a good job or something. No, that's a good thing. And it helps guys out.
Randy Hulsey 52:48
Absolutely. Now, we talked a little bit earlier about about Zack Perry. And I wanted to understand about take me back to where did you meet Zach as well? How did that friendship develop back? Whenever I was
Chris Hughes 53:04
playing with a guy named skipped Evelyn and I had met my wife, and and she knew Zach. And she just had seen me play with skip, and had seen Zach play and just knew it was a match. Just so these guys would just be fantastic. So she introduced us we wound up kind of getting acquainted with one another and right about that time, Zach had a bass player leave his band. And so I picked up his seat and we just started recording and playing around the area. We played for a couple of years played quite a few shows recorded his record broken Glasper right. Yeah, right record. Yeah,
Randy Hulsey 53:45
great record. I think before I had met you, I had gone down and was at the poop deck and Zach said bring your guitar down and jam and you know, I'm, I'm probably one of the most humble musicians ever. Like I just, I know my place and like we talked about being a good listener, sometimes I just prefer to listen. And I remember going down to the poop deck, didn't take the guitar. I was certainly felt I felt outclassed by Zach. Anybody that plays was probably not you but a lot of people would fill out class because he's a great artist, right? Jacqueline? He said, You got the guitar in the car. And I'm like, not in bring it man. You know, I just this is your show. And I came to watch. He's like, and I don't stack up anyway. He's like, music's not a competition that most certainly and I'd never had it put to me that way. And I thought that that was cool shit for him to even you know, and I'm not shitting musician, right. But I mean, you know, he's played with some of the best out there.
Chris Hughes 54:46
And that's and that's one of his that's one of the big appeals about him is that his you know, music is extremely inclusive and everybody needs to grab an instrument and grab something and play and off we go. And that's how he feels about He wants everybody to get in play and feel like if everybody's grabbing some plan taking part, you know? Sure. Everybody kind of focuses on the music rather than
Randy Hulsey 55:10
boxing people play. Yeah, if I've seen people take everything from Congo, you know, seen the YouTube videos of like, Where'd this guy come from like him, him and his dog show up just a bathing suit no shirt beaten on the drums I'm like And Zach just doing what he does, you know, that not even bothered you know whether the guys even keeping the right tempo or not or even knows the song, but it's just the the collaboration that they're sitting there playing together. Yeah,
Chris Hughes 55:39
equal ships pretty loose, spirited the first time the first the first argument that Zack and I ever got into was on the telephone. And I said something to the effect of I hadn't been banned very long. And I said something to the effect of wouldn't it be great if we wrote out a set list? And And did he flat? Once again, we're on the phone. And and it's funny enough, and it wasn't directly to add this kind of sparked it because it was a thing. And it wasn't directly because of that. But I wound up leaving the band not long after that. I did. I wound up returning later. But yeah,
Randy Hulsey 56:23
it's funny because I see the two of you guys. And I played with him. And I certainly played a lot more with you. But you and I are probably more alike in the fact that we're very methodical. We're very OCD, we need things a certain way. I see how you load in, I see how you load out and you probably see a little bit of that. And me too. So we're kind of the two peas in the pod where I think Zack is more like you said a little more free-spirited about coming and go in and there's no defined anything much was Zack like it? And that's a great thing. But that's what makes Zach
Chris Hughes 56:59
Oh, yeah, there's times I want to shoot him a fucking cannon. But no. Better. But once again, that's that's the exact same thing that makes us play well together as he's kind of one side of the coin. And on the other side of the coin. Yeah,
Randy Hulsey 57:18
they say opposites attract sometimes, right? And I think there can be no truer adage. Now I know that he made his second home and ProStart France and has a very solid and huge following over there. When he returned from France, I think when COVID hit, you guys went into the studio together and started recording an effort. You talked a little bit about it earlier. But can you maybe expand upon it? Like who wrote the songs? Was it just you two guys? Did you collaborate with others? Tell us a little bit about the making of that
Chris Hughes 57:51
we're both really proud of the record. And it's not, we're not necessarily so proud of the record, because it's a record, it's going to go out there and compete with Sony or any of these things. But we're proud of the record because it is a an extremely simple, raw effort. We did we they're all minds that there are six songs, and three is x and three of mine. We played all the instruments and recorded all the parts and we did them at my studio. And it's a very humble studio. So essentially, the record was recorded in a space about, oh, I'd say 10 by 15. And just typical bedroom then, you know, yeah, home studio type thing, but we just spent the time and did it. And so as a result, it's kind of an intimate thing. And it's a raw thing. And it's realistic, is what it is. And so we're Yeah, I'm really excited about it.
Randy Hulsey 58:53
And it's my understanding too, that it's a band-type effort. It's not just two guys playing the acoustic guitar, right. I mean, you have drums, bass, we did
Chris Hughes 59:02
we started out when we conceived the album, it was going to be two guys on acoustics, maybe an occasional lead guitar, and some hand percussion, that type thing. And true to normal Criss fashion. As I went down to start getting a percussion instrument for the studio. I realized that I might as well just go buy an acoustic and electronic drum kit. So I bought an electronic drum kit. And since I played bass, it all of a sudden turned into more of a band type effort now once again, played the bass and the drums on the record, so it's still two guys. Sure. But yeah,
Randy Hulsey 59:47
but what the what your listeners will hear is they will know the difference,
Chris Hughes 59:51
right? We change the instrumentation a little bit so there's electric love in there.
Randy Hulsey 59:56
Sure. Did you ever travel overseas with Zack Did you spend any time in France was Zach or did that never you you stayed stateside while he was correct. burn was over there with him right at the time, right
Chris Hughes 1:00:09
when, by the time I left Jack's band 2013 Start playing music in 2017. Rod around that area a couple of years. I guess it wasn't very long after that, that he had gone to France. And so he and I hadn't even kind of hooked back up when he was over in France. And it wasn't until he kind of came back from COVID that we wound up even hanging out visit and playing together at all again, as a matter of fact, in between those years in between 2013 and probably 2020. If we had said 10 words to each other, that would surprise me. Sure. We just completely lost
Randy Hulsey 1:00:54
it. Yeah. When you have this effort mastered, do you know how the listeners will be able to get their hands on it, where it will be for purchase, where they'll be able to listen, I'm assuming iTunes Spotify will, you know, can you speak to that at all? Or do you have not thought that far down the line?
Chris Hughes 1:01:12
I've considered all those different avenues at this point. I'm not sure if I'm going to instantly release it on those platforms. And I think probably the biggest reason for that is Zach, and his following in France and his label over there. And then he has another album that's forthcoming. That's his waking the vulture record that will be coming out. With all those things. I'm just not sure exactly how we're going to do it yet. Because I'll just don't know. Yeah, that's fine. Yeah. And we may want to sell it directly off their site for a little bit before we release it. We may just sell them off the stage. We may hand them out. We may shoot them out of a cannon or drop them from an airplane. Sure. Like dead turkeys. I don't know.
Randy Hulsey 1:02:06
Yeah. Well, I would say that you guys when it drops if you guys want to reach out and contact me even and I can certainly get in touch with Chris and Zack to help promote that and, and sell the effort if you guys are well. And so, Randy at Randy hulsey.com or Chris, what's your email if people want to reach out directly to you and inquire about buying the release once it's out?
Chris Hughes 1:02:35
Probably the best. The best way to get ahold of me right now is Chris Hughes, Texas. email@example.com.
Randy Hulsey 1:02:43
Perfect. And do you or have you thought about? If you don't, or can't or whatever, don't want to talk about it? Let's just say move on. Have you thought about the branding? Like, is it going to be branded? Chris and Zack are Parian Hughes you have a band name? Is it going to be you know, how is it going to be branded? Can you speak?
Chris Hughes 1:03:06
Yeah, and essentially it's it's called the album we called the C shack recordings. Volume One and that the working title on it is called what it is. Okay. Say it would be Zack Perry and Chris Hughes and the C shack recordings. It's kind of a concept because this won't be the only one we're gonna save when we drop this when Zach has his different recordings going with Zack Perry and the beautiful things. And that is one complete difference. It's a different style than what we do. And so we'll put these little collections out intermittently. Yep. In the meantime. Well, I
Randy Hulsey 1:03:49
really look forward to them. Let's jump over real quick and talk high level about year guitars. I know you carry a few guitars with you on stage when you and I play talk to the listeners a little bit about what you're playing.
Chris Hughes 1:04:03
Right now. My best acoustic is a Gibson, s j 200. Studio walnut burst. And it's a really it's a fun gasps Gibson tonewood acoustic and I have a an Epiphone that's a super jumbo it's also an acoustic-electric and it's based off of the Gibson when the Gibson had to go back in the shop, I'd gotten it and so I have both of those guitars and also have a Martin acoustic that I carry around with me it's it's one of the less expensive halfbreed Martin's with the fiber sides and stuff like that. Yeah, but and so for me, the biggest reason is to say I like to have one tuned standard in case of breaker string and then I also have like to have one of my instruments that's tuned with a cable on it in case we go to a song with Geico, so on don't constantly have to return with a cape bow on. So I'll generally keep either two or three different tunings available at all times.
Randy Hulsey 1:05:10
That makes sense. And what what are your thoughts around somebody that tunes down a half step? You know, I mean, you and I do but and that's my preference and and I do that for vocal reasons. But is that an anomaly like if you if you played with 10 musicians, how many of them would be tuned down a half step or a whole step and not just staying in standard tuning?
Chris Hughes 1:05:33
Jack and I, when we first started playing together, we were turned down half step, okay. And we did it for vocal reasons, because it's just, it is considerably easier on your voice. And there's a buddy of mine, lightening, rob the lightning rod band out of Galveston real popular band right now. And they turn a half step down, and I'm sure it's vocally and so a lot of people do it. The only the only real problem with that is sometimes people say that their guitars don't intonate as well, they don't tune quite as well drop down a half step, especially the acoustics. And then secondarily, if you have other people come like, play with you or stuff like that, and they pop up on stage. It's for them. Yeah, they better know that you're down a half step or it's gonna sound like a train wreck. But other than that, it's pretty good. And lots of people do it, you know?
Randy Hulsey 1:06:28
Well, I do know that Zach was tuned down a half step for a while, but now he's gone back to standard tuning. Yeah, is my understanding. And maybe that's just for keeping it simple. I don't know. Or maybe he's just having so many different people come up. And well, Jay,
Chris Hughes 1:06:43
you know, from having talked to him. Part of it was when there was open mics and things going on, but also one of the things was was tuning issues. And I think part of that was with his he has a Les Paul, that's a beautiful instrument. But I think that guitar in particular had part of the was part of the reason that he had gone back to tuning and regular a 440.
Randy Hulsey 1:07:07
Yeah, that makes sense. And what about from a pedal perspective? I know you carry a slew of pedals, and maybe not so much you don't use them during our shows. Maybe you do, maybe you don't, but probably when you play someplace like Shark ease, was Zach full band, I'm sure those pedals become a little bit more. Yeah, needed. Right. So talk a little bit about your pedals. Maybe some go to pedals that and sounds that you like,
Chris Hughes 1:07:36
I do I carry my pedal boards gotten pretty large but but for the most part, I like relatively simple sound, for me, 90% of the pedals that I have ever have been bought, in reference to having available for recording. So it's there if I need it. Like everything else I do, I'll wind up carrying a bunch of shit around that I'll only use very seldom but I'd rather carry it around and have it than not.
Randy Hulsey 1:08:06
And I'm kind of have that mind set to i I'd rather have too much than not enough. And then bitch that I carry too much. Right? That's as far as
Chris Hughes 1:08:16
pedals and amps and things like that go. I have I've, I've always been a big fan of Fender amps. But I have recently started using Blackstar amps. And so I run Blackstar amp amplifiers, and I'm real big on Wampler pedals. And so I've had several different distortion pedals that I run on my board at all times. But I don't use them at all time, sir. But your basic distortion chorus little echo reverb, pretty simple sounds is my favorite my stuff.
Randy Hulsey 1:08:49
Yep. And then what about the music that you and Zack are recording? What tools are you using on the on the computer for the for the home recording?
Chris Hughes 1:08:59
my DAW platform is PreSonus Studio One. And I use Studio One Pro version five, plus, and then I have soft tube emulations of large format mixers, which for Joe listening guy out there just it just means it copies a great big studio mixer. And so I use Softube emulations in PreSonus studio one and also use audio interfaces and things like that.
Randy Hulsey 1:09:34
Gotcha. And I use Cubase in my studio and I and I really think that you know having a piece of recording software that you like and that you use is kind of like the beer or cigarette of choice. It's like the first cigarette you ever smoke. If it's a Marlboro light that's what you're gonna smoke the rest of your life Yeah, right. If your doors light guy you're gonna record like the rest of your
Chris Hughes 1:09:59
life. There was a point in time when Pro Tools was the industry standard. And if you weren't using Pro Tools, then geez, pretty much, pretty much you weren't going to get taken, you know, your project needs to be on Pro Tools. Cubase was one of the ones that started out pretty early. And they were in there for a long time. But now, it's gotten to the point to where the all of the software is so functional that once you find one that you particularly like, you know, you're good to go and the industry-standard has has changed considerably exert
Randy Hulsey 1:10:33
Well, in full transparency, I think I bought my little two channel audio interface by USB that I could plug my guitar in and record directly to the the computer for those listeners that don't know much about recording. And it was the I think it was the Steinberg you are 22. And with that came a, a watered down lite version of Cubase. Right. That's what I used to think
Chris Hughes 1:11:00
they called it Cubasis or something maybe so. Yeah. And that's, I believe, that's the first one that I had as well. You know, once you kind of get once you find your way around one of those software packages, you don't want to relearn something else because they're very complex. Yeah, and but also if they do kind of help one kind of teaches you a little bit about the other. Yeah, so once you learn one, learning another one isn't quite as difficult.
Randy Hulsey 1:11:27
Exactly. Let's jump into some quickfire questions. Beatles or the stones for Chris Hughes.
Chris Hughes 1:11:34
I'm a Beatles guy.
Randy Hulsey 1:11:36
That's interesting, because we do some we I don't think we do any Beatle songs together but we do quite a few or stone songs together. So I would have thought the opposite. So I learned something today about TV or radio.
Chris Hughes 1:11:49
TV I'm ashamed or shame to say TV.
Randy Hulsey 1:11:54
That's what's wrong with you if you watch too much damn TV. About perfect vacation for Chris Hughes.
Chris Hughes 1:12:03
I live my vacation every day I live on Galveston Island can if I walk out my front door and take out walking in two minutes I will be standing knee deep in the Gulf of Mexico. So you don't have far to go don't have far to go at all. acoustic or electric years ago would have said electric. I think acoustic now I think acoustic now I think it it kind of suits where I am in life a little bit better.
Randy Hulsey 1:12:32
I think there's a wrongness to the acoustic that it's you it's the artist and a simple water down I shouldn't say watered down because tonewoods are not cheap guitars and you spend a lot of money for what we play. But it is just raw it's just unplugged. Right? And I think that there's there's nothing better than just hearing like like he played a couple of things earlier is just you in the guitar. There's nothing fabricating a sound. There's no gimmicks. There's no trickery to it, what you hear it's kind of WYSIWYG, What You See Is What You Get right? There sounds great or sounds like shit. But either way it's real. And it's raw.
Chris Hughes 1:13:18
There was there have been times in my career that I have been a faster guitar player or possibly done more tricks and stuff. But I don't know that I've ever been a better guitar player than I am now. And I think probably 99% of the reason of that is because I put down the electric for so long and played the acoustics are much more and really, instead of this wittily Woodleigh Woodley sat down to listen to what it was I was doing tried to play a little bit slower. Tried to get that slow hand thing happening absolute little bit more. Yep.
Randy Hulsey 1:13:50
Favorite guitar. And it doesn't even have to be one you own just your favorite guitar in general.
Chris Hughes 1:13:57
Oh, gosh. You know, I'll tell you one of my, one of my very favorite guitars, aside from the one that I'm holding, is my cousin Jason Gibson. I believe it's SJ one ad. And he purchased that and gosh, I believe I guess he got it from a guy who had I think it was big note studios and Abilene or something. Lots of famous people have recorded on that guitar and he was the inspiration. He was actually the inspiration for me getting this one. Okay, so definitely the Gibson super Jumbos rock rocker country. Definitely country now. Yeah. And I've been and I would say probably closer to Americana or Texas country.
Randy Hulsey 1:14:46
Yeah. And it's funny that you say that because that's kind of how my tastes have shifted over. Over time getting into the Americana genre and Texas country Red Dirt stuff where before 2016 don't give a damn about any of that it was, you know the Aussies and the Sabbath and all the stuff from the 70s Firefall. And you know, like that's what I was a rock pig. That's what I was.
Chris Hughes 1:15:13
Countries where it's real now or I say, country Americana Texas country red dark, that sort of thing is kind of where it's
Randy Hulsey 1:15:21
real. Yep. And then what about early bird or night owl? Both favorite place to play. Maybe out of all the places that you've ever played
Chris Hughes 1:15:31
out of all the places that I've ever played what had been the favorite? Gosh, that would take me a second to think about. But I think at this point, you know, probably I personally like to bigger crowds. And so we've done some things where we I guess back in Odessa, the first big crowd that I replied to was probably my favorite and gave me the big we opened for headache east. Oh, yeah, flat as a pancake. Yeah, it wasn't too too long after that, you know, record and everything. And they played a big festival out there. And we were the popular rock band in town. So we got to open up there to speedway. But
Randy Hulsey 1:16:14
I think that might be what would you say that never been in the reason might be the only or one of the only few hit songs that that head east ever had, I think
Chris Hughes 1:16:26
that was their big hit. I think that was their only hit. But if you'll listen to that record, the flat as a pancake was one of my it was probably, I'd say top 10. But that's given it quite a bit. But it listened to that album front to back 10 billion times
Randy Hulsey 1:16:46
I'll have to listen to it front to back. And I haven't done that. I've never owned the vinyl. I've started getting into collecting Vinyl as of late. So I'm going to see if I can track that one down for sure. And give it a listen,
Chris Hughes 1:16:57
if there was ever a case to be made for the eight-track tape. That would be because you plugged in an eight track and that sumbitch would go until you jerked it out of the player.
Randy Hulsey 1:17:09
Yeah, you're right, it would have been a favorite song to play live.
Chris Hughes 1:17:15
That would have to be I can't say currently, but my favorite song to have played live would be y y, z, Rush. Y, Y, Z. And I used to play that with Keith Gwynn and Biff Aten and Lisa with a band called Silent Majority back in Odessa. And that's we used to do some Russian stuff like
Randy Hulsey 1:17:38
the ice. So I'll put you on the spot and give you a rough trivia question.
Chris Hughes 1:17:42
Don't go ahead.
Randy Hulsey 1:17:45
What is y y, z? I have no idea or as they call it in Canada y y Zed.
Chris Hughes 1:17:52
I would almost you know what I'm almost guessing it's some kind of distress signal or code of some sort. But I have no idea.
Randy Hulsey 1:18:02
So like your airport here is Ay ay, ah, that's their airport in Toronto. Y Y, Z.
Chris Hughes 1:18:07
Well, I'm appreciate you making me look different on everyone.
Randy Hulsey 1:18:12
Well, if there's anything else I can do for you today, let me know we'll go to the Creekwood tonight, and I'll say something stupid there to put you on the spot I don't make. I'm just not gonna talk about that record again, because I'm already on thin ice. So I'll pick another joke tonight.
Chris Hughes 1:18:28
We're close. Noria
Randy Hulsey 1:18:31
right. Number one influential musician or band for Chris Hughes.
Chris Hughes 1:18:40
I think I would probably have to say Zeplin as an overall influence. But there are a couple of players that influenced me heavily as far as my style and applying the guys in scattered. Were some of the guys that influenced my play, and Pat travers, out of Canada. Probably when I hear it. I hear that guy in my playing all the time. Yeah, even in this current record, which is kind of weird.
Randy Hulsey 1:19:12
So thank you guys for listening. And, Chris, I want to thank you for coming all the way out to Cyprus. Well, you already had to because we're playing here in Cyprus tonight but thank you for coming here and sharing your story. I think that all the listeners will certainly like to hear kind of your background I think a lot of them you know kind of my little following in and around town know you through me and vice versa. So i It'll be nice for them to be able to hear who was this Chris Hughes guy you're playing?
Chris Hughes 1:19:44
I hope those folks will come out and say hey, and shake my hand say hi and all that good stuff.
Randy Hulsey 1:19:49
Yeah. And there's nothing that's more pleasing to a musician for people to stop by and introduce themselves, but we love to get to know new people. We see a lot of familiar faces in the crowd. A lot of times but it's always nice to meet some new people and, and have some new people that enjoy the songs that we're delivering. As always, you guys can find the show on Facebook at backstage pass radio podcast on Instagram at backstage pass radio, on Twitter at backstage pass PC. And then on the website at backstage pass radio.com Make sure to look Chris up on I know you're on Facebook. I don't know that you're on anything. Are you on Instagram to know just Facebook is really the main place right now. And that's where you can find Chris's, you know, shows that he's playing with me and whoever else that he decides to run out and play some songs with you guys. look him up there on Facebook. Again, Chris, thanks for being such a gracious guest and look forward to many more fun shows and getting to know you better and coming down to the island and seeing you play some time. You guys take care of yourselves and each other and we'll see you right back here on the next episode of backstage pass radio.
Chris Hughes 1:21:06
Thanks so much for joining us. We hope you enjoy today's episode of backstage pass radio. Make sure to follow Randy on Facebook and Instagram at Randy Hulsey music and on Twitter at our Halsey music. Also make sure to like, subscribe, and turn on alerts for upcoming podcasts. If you enjoyed the podcast, make sure to share the link with a friend and tell them backstage pass radio is the best show on the web for everything music. We'll see you next time right here on backstage pass radio