Saturday, January 26, 2019

Conversation with Crafted Sounds

I sat down with Connor Murray from the independent music label Crafted Sounds based in Pittsburgh.
Connor talks about starting, maintaining and the future of the label which produces cassettes of bands in and around the area and beyond. He also partakes in my First/Last feature.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

HughShows Holiday download / Deutschtown Music Festival exclusive opportunity

You can enjoy the full 90 minute HughShows Holiday musical special right now from the comfort of your home, or phone as these nutty kids do.

Featuring 17 performances from Pittsburgh's most talented musicians covering your favorite seasonal classics including a few original songs written just for this special.

Led by musical director Nathan Zoob, the house band (including Abigail Iksic, Shawn McGregor,  Roger Romero, and Chris Trepagnier) backs guest vocalists SPISH, Mark Dignam, Sierra Sellers, Gene Stovall, Becki Gallagher, André Costello with Guy Russo, Chloe Wiecz, Markila Sherman, and Addi Twigg. Special musical guests also include Avi Diamond with Morgan Erina, Murder for Girls, Arlo Aldo, Just Fern, Molly Alphabet, Wreck Loose, Clara Kent, and the long awaited reunion of Broken Fences.

For a small donation to help keep HughShows going in the new year, you can receive the full show as special gift.

As an added incentive, anyone who does donate and download will be entered into a special raffle.
If you are in a band and would like the opportunity to perform at the 2019 Deutschtown Music Festival in July (12th or 13th), now is your chance. One lucky winner will be randomly chosen to play on one of the four outdoor Main Stages of the festival! This year for the first time, there will be four headlining, family-friendly (clean sets, please) stages including the Foreland Stage, the Park Stage, the Skyline Stage, and the Nova Place Stage. If your band is chosen, you can choose which of these stages you would like to perform on.
To be eligible, on the Checkout Page at the bottom under Additional Information, type in your band name in the Notes About Your Order field.
Spread the word to your fanbase and they can donate and download and on your behalf (as long as they enter your band name in the 'Notes' field at checkout) to increase your chances!

The download and raffle will only be available starting now until the early part of of 2019 when we will draw and announce a winner in January!

Head on over to to download.

Good luck and Happy Holidays.

Friday, November 9, 2018

HughShows Holiday Video Premieres

I am thrilled to debut two videos from the upcoming HughShows Holiday feature length show.
We are premiering the entire movie on December 2nd at 6pm at Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall in Carnegie, PA. The program consists of 17 holiday songs performed by your favorite Pittsburgh musicians. Each ticket gets the companion soundtrack from Misra Records.
These two songs were written specifically for this special by Molly Alphabet & Chet Vincent and Clara Kent.

Consider joining us in Carnegie on the 2nd.
Tickets available here:

Molly Alphabet - "Christmas in July"

Clara Kent - "Winter Song"

Saturday, October 27, 2018

Arlo Aldo - Maoz Tzur / Oseh Shalom

May you find peace tonight, Pittsburgh.

Arlo Aldo is Jessica Hoffman (Viola/Vocals) and David Manchester (Guitar/Vocals)

First song, Maoz Tzur translated:
Rock of Ages let our song,
Praise thy saving power;
Thou amidst the raging foes,
Wast our sheltering tower.

Furiously they assailed us,
But Thine arm availed us
And Thy word broke their sword,
When our own strength failed us.
And Thy word broke their sword,
When our own strength failed us.

Second song, Oseh Shalom translated:
He who makes peace in His high places, 
May He make peace for us, 
And for all Israel, 
Let us say, Amen.

Friday, July 13, 2018


"Pittsburgh has a reputation of breeding talented musicians and artists ranging from Christina Aguilera to Girl Talk, Wiz Khalifa and Mac Miller. These artists, just to name a few, represent the wide-range of talent that has emerged from the streets of the steel town. With a deep-rooted history in Pittsburgh’s music scene, guitarist Byron Nash has been around for quite some time, building a reputation for his unique style of rock n’ soul guitar playing. Evident in that sound are the various genres of music that have influenced his life, including: early thrash metal, jam, funk and soul, to Hip-Hop, jazz, blues and world music. He spent years as guitarist in his first group, the power trio SPORADIC who played the festival circuit pretty heavy for years."

The Deutschtown Music Festival starts this week! Every day on the blog I am featuring a band from Pittsburgh who I discovered through the submission process and are performing this weekend.

BYRON NASH & PLANB is a Pittsburgh based rock band who wear their eclectic influences right on their sleeve, out in the open for everyone to hear. Taking elements of jazz, metal, r&b, and straight up hard rock, the band have been making waves in the music scene by showing us exactly how it is done by simply doing the work without any excuses. See for yourself how the band rocks it out on Saturday (7/14) as they take the HughShows Stage at 5pm for the 6th Annual Deutschtown Music Festival. I want to thank Byron (Guitars/Vocals) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

The first album you ever bought?
The Gap Band 3.

Your last album bought?
Rufus and Chaka Khan Live.

Favorite album of all time?
That's really tough since I'm a collector and own and love so many records. So I'll just say what my favorite album in this listening season is. Stevie Wonder - Songs In the Key of Life.

Least favorite/most disappointing album?
Weird question. I'd say the last Justin Timberlake didn't strike me as hard as the first three, however, seeing it live made me like it more.

First concert attended?
Rick James.

Last concert?
Slayer, Testament, Anthrax, Lamb of God, Behemoth.

Favorite concert ever?
Ever? I'd say the one that had a major impact was Metallica and Queensryche, The And Justice for All/Operation Mindcrime tour 1988.

Least favorite concert?

Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
Pittsburgh is the place where I found myself as a musician, artist and businessman. I learned and grew with the city. My favorite part is the hard blue collar work ethic that has seeped its way into everything that I do. Everyone flocks to NYC or LA for opportunity, but I believe you can do major things here, even if you have to travel to pull it off. The new growth has opened the door for endless possibilities. I love that about Pittsburgh. It is a place to hone your skill and talent before taking it to the next level.

Thanks, Byron. Can't wait to hang on Saturday, buddy. I really love your attitude and ethic when it comes to participating in this music scene of ours.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

First/Last - iNCO FIdO

"We're loud, we like to drink, there are a lot of us."

The Deutschtown Music Festival starts this week! Every day on the blog I am featuring a band from Pittsburgh who I discovered through the submission process and are performing this weekend.

iNCO FIdO is a ska-punk rock and roll band from Pittsburgh who totally blew me away when I saw them perform at the Millvale Music Festival in May. Comparisons to The Commonheart are a tad too easy but with a stage full of musicians, a horn section and energetic frontman singing his heart out, you will share the sentiment the moment you witness their amazingly, energetic live show. Do yourself the favor and catch them at the 6th Annual Deutschtown Music Festival this Saturday, July 14 at 4pm on the Skyline Stage in Allegheny Commons Park by the Sue Murray Pool. For a preview, the band will be performing a couple songs on 102.5 WDVE this morning (7/11) at 9:15am. I want to thank Chuck Veri (Vocals) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

The first album you ever bought?
The first album I ever bought for myself was Dookie by Green Day, this album began the journey down a punk rock rabbit hole that I still haven't found the bottom of 24 years later.

Your last album bought?
I just recently bought Pacifisticuffs by Diablo Swing Orchestra. I love this band, a little bit of swing, a little bit of opera, and a whole lot of heavy metal,  I've never heard anything like this band.

Favorite album of all time?
This question required quite a bit of thought, but I've decided to go with Gemstones by Adam Green. Imagine a collection of songs in which Neil Diamond wrote all the music and Hunter S. Thompson wrote all the lyrics. This album has a profound impact on my song writing, got me thinking in layers, and is a great example of duality in song writing as the music is very beautiful, but lyrically very ugly and dark.

Least favorite/most disappointing album?
I've been trying to come up with an answer for this, and I'm drawing a blank. I've had some albums that I was initially disappointed in, but upon further listening I've either found the good in them, or realized that the problem was myself.

First concert attended?
The Beach Boys at Star Lake Amphitheater. I don’t remember the exact date, but it was the summer of 1991.

Last concert?
Punk in Drublic Festival at Highmark Stadium. This was an awesome day, my buddy DanK was able to score us some staff passes so we got to watch Bad Religion play their Suffer album front to back from the private balcony... I may have teared up a bit.

Favorite concert ever?
It was Against Me! April 6th 2004 at the Ottobar in Baltimore MD. I was all alone in a strange city and the energy in that room was absolutely electric. There was just something in the air that night, with that band and that crowd in that room that I have never felt before or since.

Least favorite concert?
John Michael Montgomery, and it wasn't even that he didn't play well, I’m just not a fan of pop-country music.

Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
Pittsburgh is my home. I was born and raised here, but throughout my 20's and early 30's I traveled extensively. I've lived in a number of places, some short term and some long term, but wherever I've gone or wherever I've tried to settle, no place has ever felt like home. I always end up back in Pittsburgh and if I have my way I'll never live anywhere else. I love the people, the skyline, the music, the art, the messed up roads, the seemingly arbitrary way that the city is laid out, the "you can't get there from here", I love the parks, and the neighborhoods. I love that there are parts of this city where you can go from a completely urbanized setting to a green space that'll make you forget the city exists in just a few steps. I could go on, but I think I've made my point.

Thanks, Chuck. Your Punk in Drublic story is the best of what going to a show is all about. Scoring some VIP seats. The band playing the whole album. It seems to me that fleeting experiences like that are what make up going to shows all worthwhile and stick with you forever.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

First/Last - Raven Clifton

"alt/indie/rock/pop two piece band trying our best. thanks for listening! :)"

The Deutschtown Music Festival starts this week! Every day on the blog I am featuring a band from Pittsburgh who I discovered through the submission process and are performing this weekend.

Raven Clifton is an indie pop artist from Pittsburgh who is just emerging on the local scene with the help of her fantastic debut Hive Mind. Definitely catch her at the HughShows Stage (Middle and Foreland) this Saturday, July 14 at 1pm at the 6th Annual Deutschtown Music Festival. I want to thank Raven (Guitar/Vocals) for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

The first album you ever bought?
I'm not 100% sure about this. Might have been the soundtrack to the Rugrats in Paris movie. Or the very first S Club 7 album. Clearly I was a very cool kid.

Your last album bought?
Kacey Musgraves's new album, Golden Hour. It's amazing and she's amazing and I love her.

Favorite album of all time?
I have two, I really can't decide between them; My Chemical Romance's The Black Parade and La Dispute's Wildlife. They both have my angsty, emo little heart.

Least favorite/most disappointing album?
The only album I specifically remember being disappointed by was The Killer's Sam's Town. But then I listened to it a few times on a cross country road trip and fell in love with it a little bit? So I guess I end up liking anything that I hear enough times.

First concert attended?
It might have been Mindless Self Indulgence? Very weird first concert experience. Lots of people in costumes. I did not understand what was going on.

Favorite concert ever?
Green Day. I saw them for the first time after 21st Century Breakdown came out. They played for like 2+ hours straight and were high energy the whole time, it was amazing.

Least favorite concert?
I once went with my mom to see Def Leppard. Oof. That was not for me.

Favorite thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
I'm just slowly starting to get into the music scene here and I'm really excited to become a part of it. I think it’s awesome how many dedicated, passionate people there are here who are (and have been) building up the local music scene with events and festivals and all this DIY jazz. It's a great place to be.

Thanks, Raven. I have to tell you that I really do love your music. I cannot wait to see you perform this Saturday! And by the way, Def Leppard isn't TOO bad...