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Michael Hughes
Michael Hughes
4 Number 1
5 Top 10
39 Tracks
Michael Hughes, Auburn, Maine. Original acoustic & electric music.
I worked as a musician for about ten years after I finished my BA in English lit, which didn't sound nearly as interesting at the time as playing music. After an enjoyable but wasted youth of bands, solo & studio work, ten thousand nights in clubs & lots of touring, three albums with David Mallett, and a few years as a music journalist and free lance editor, I saw the writing on the wall. I said goodbye to all that & began teaching high school English & started building my project studio. It seems like I've been interested in recording music since I began playing the guitar back in grade school. From a cheap portable cassette tape recorder up through four track cassette "portastudios" and then reel-to-reel rigs to my first encounter with digital recording around 2000, I've always enjoyed trying to lay down sound. Some of the music up on my page was recorded on my first digital system (a Roland VS-1680), and some was recorded on my current system. So, as much as anything else, I'm interested in the art & science of making good sounding recordings. I write original music and do arrangements of music from a variety of sources. I'm trying to get at an emotional vibe and that elusive buzz with each recording, a core that I hope comes through in the sound of the instruments & the way I play.
Your musical influences
Just about everything I've ever heard--rock, pop & some of the great contemporary post-punk stuff, machine music, jazz, early music, Baroque music, 20th/21th century classical, contemporary acoustic-based music, soul, Motown, R&B, New Orleans music, songwriters, all of the great guitar players, American roots-oriented stuff, early field recordings, early country, tango and South American music, African & Middle Eastern musics, and, always, country blues. Learning to play different instruments has also shaped my sensibility. Taking up the mandolin, for example, led me to bluegrass, string band music, turn-of-the-century mandolin orchestras, and Celtic, Italian and Russian music. Most recently, I've fallen in love with all things slide--electric and acoustic lap steels. I messed around with bottleneck guitar and never got very far, but I seem to have a real affinity for lap steel guitar playing. I'm still learning about this, and i'm really enjoying the journey.
What equipment do you use?
My basic setup: Digi 002 & a G5 with Waves. Great River & a Milllennia for preamps along with a collection of good mics. Instruments I play on these recordings include: a Moreira classical guitar, Fender & Parker Fly electrics & Martin steel-string guitars; a 5-string Shector electric bass and a mid-50s Kay stand-up bass; a 1938 EH-150 Gibson lap steel guitar, a 1953 Gibson Ultratone 7-string lap steel, a Remington table steel, a National Reso-Phonic Style 3 steel guitar, an Exel "frypan" 8-string lap steel and a customized National Reso-phonic tricone baritone guitar; and a beautiful seven-string Bear Creek Weissenborn guitar made by Bill Hardin; an old Martin ukelele, a 1920s era Gibson A-1 mandolin modified with a fifth course, & an octave mandolin; a mid-'80s Dobro, a Bart Reiter open-back banjo; a djembe and various percussion instruments; and a Fantom X8 sequencer for keys, drum programming & other sounds.
Anything else?
What's so funny 'bout peace, love and understanding?
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