"Meet Me In Memphis"

Eric Hughes

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“Meet Me In Memphis” reminds us that the Eric Hughes Band are more than a mere blues band; Hughes and company deliver “Meet Me In Memphis”- an excitingly diverse, fascinating collection of Eric’s homegrown original songs that reflect the varied styles that make up Memphis music.

Truly a community effort, Hughes was able to produce this album with help from the very first “Slim’s Front Loan” by the Memphis Slim Collaboratory, administered through Community Lift, and backed by River City Capital. Fans of the Eric Hughes Band contributed funding through pre-orders and purchases, and helped make this album possible. In addition, several students of the University of Memphis School of Music Business have assisted as advisors and interns throughout this record’s creation.

The musical variety of Memphis is like a patchwork quilt: so many colors, fabrics and textures combine to form a unique, hip, soulful sound like no other. All members of the Eric Hughes Band grew up listening to the diversity of Memphis music, feasting upon the rich stew created by combining rock, blues, soul, country, jazz, and folk music. Naturally, “Meet Me In Memphis” draws upon these varied styles and influences.

Eric Hughes draws upon the experience gleaned from over three thousand shows in the clubs on Beale Street over his sixteen-year career in the creation of his fifth album. He has become an ambassador of Memphis music to the tourists who visit the Bluff City in search of true blues and authentic tunes, and for many of those visitors has become the face of Beale Street.

Hughes has set the bar pretty high, his previous releases earning two “Best Self-Produced CD” titles, a Muddy Mojo Award, and “Coolest Blues Song of the Year”. The Eric Hughes Band meets and surpasses the standard, however, with “Meet Me In Memphis”.

Track 1 “Freight Train of Pain” A rootsy blues-groove in the style of early ZZ Top or the Allman Brothers, this tune is inspired by bassist Leo Goff, who played the entire album on his 1963 Fender Jazz bass (with strings that have been on it since 1969). This imagery-laden rocker contains with some cool imagery here: fire, smoke, steam, grease, grime. Brian Aylor provides the locomotion on drums, while Walter Hughes shovels the coal onto the fire with his guitar.
“…a high-pressure steam boiler put on wheels and set to music.”

Track 2 “Meet Me In Memphis” Mixing soul, gospel, and a little blues, it’s practically a commercial for the city; here Hughes describes some of his hometown’s many charms. After having both guitars stolen in 2016, Eric felt low-down and angry; he knew that his funky mood had to be put to an end. In a stroke of defiant positivity, and drawing on all the things he loved about his hometown, Hughes penned this tribute to the Bluff City- and to many of the things that make Memphis a place like no other. In addition to the tasty drumming by Brian Aylor, and Leo Goff’s bass groove, Walter chimes in with soul guitar licks that draw from his Memphis music upbringing, his Beale Street roots, and the band’s Memphis lineage. The song reminds locals just “down-home hip” the city really is, and also beckons visitors to come enjoy Memphis. The voices of Reba Russell and Susan Marshall bring the chorus right on home, summoning that uplifting, powerful, sweetness that reminds you of church. Speaking of church, that piano and organ are calling your soul to come back to Memphis… that’s Chris Stephenson on keys.
Those mouth-watering drops of hot sauce are the horns of Art Edmaiston and Marc Franklin, on saxophone and trumpet.

Track 3 “Roll A Fatty For Your Daddy” Although the song is self-explanatory, it draws on a timeless theme that the blues genre has visited for decades: unwinding after a hard workday. Though this album from which it comes is incredibly diverse in styles, this particular song reminds everyone of exactly where the Eric Hughes Band’s roots lie: rowdy, fun, dirty Blues. Brian Aylor on drums and Leo Goff build a “stone” foundation for this “high” building to sit upon; Walter Hughes brings some extremely tasty wah-pedal guitar that compliments Chris Stephenson’s barrel-house piano.

Track 4 “The Day They Hanged The Kid” Paint a picture; tell a story; this song draws from hundreds of old cowboy shows. As a child Hughes was a fan of not only the “good guys” Lone Ranger and John Wayne, but also identified somewhat with the outlaws that endeared America to the “Bad Boy” long before rock & roll raised its greasy, sneering head. The ficticious “Kid” is nothing more than an amalgam of the American outlaw rebel, and The Kid gets what he had coming.
Leo Goff bass, Brian Aylor drums, Eric acoustic guitar, Walter Hughes backing vocals, electric guitar and a vintage 1950 Supro lap steel guitar…Chris Stephenson on keys. Marc Franklin’s trumpet transports the Kid up the dusty gallows steps to meet the angels.

Track 5 “Here Comes The Boogie Man” We’ve all been here. Alone…empty house, …what was that noise? There is no such thing as a “quiet summer evening” in the American South; whippoorwills, hoot-owls, cicadas and bullfrogs create an eerie auditory landscape that sometimes precedes the arrival of “haints”…ghosts such as lonliness, paranoia, and terror.
Brian Aylor summons “The One Who Comes At Night” on jungle drums and percussion, which includes a tabla drum once played by Grateful Dead’s Mickey Hart Eric Hughes plays acoustic guitar here, and also blows harmonica through his 1959 Gibson amplifier. Walter Hughes contributes some eerie slide guitar and sturdy rhythm lines, while Leo’s bass lines echo through the darkness.

Track Six “Left My Heart at Your Place” This heart-felt, jazzy, easy-listening love song inspired by and written for Eric’s wife Donna, when he first began to fall in love with her. Those hearts fortunate enough to have loved will readily identify here. Leo’s trusty jazz bass shapes every note with care, as Eric sings and plays rhythm guitar. Brian Aylor swaps his maple drumsticks for a pair of brushes to convey the smoky lounge feel that is complimented by Chris Stephenson’s beautiful piano. Round, jazzy tones from Walter’s hollow-body Gretsch guitar include one of the album’s most irresistible treats.

Track Seven “Midtown Blues” Hughes and company return to the juke joint blues that is their trademark with this hilarious, tongue-in-cheek number which pokes good-natured fun at Memphis’ Midtown neighborhood, where Hughes makes his home. Hughes fondly jabs at the “hipper-than-thou” and reminds us to not take ourselves too seriously. Dirty, overdriven harmonica by Eric, and Walter’s sweet/nasty guitar are complimented by a big fat groove by Leo on bass and Brian on drums. Chris Stephenson’s rollicking piano pushes the song into familiar Beale Street territory that will delight blues fans..

Track Eight “I’m Knocking On Your Door” This folk-rocker is based on a chain-gang work chant Eric heard on an old documentary about Parchman Prison. This song dredges deep into the Blues mud while maintaining a rock feel, and features some delightfully greasy slide guitar work by Walter Hughes. Eric’s acoustic guitar lines reinforce and punctuate the groove while Leo’s bass and Brian’s drumming keep the pace.

Track Nine “I Believe I’m Going Fishing” Lighthearted and open, this song reminds us that there are simple pleasures that remain, despite the turmoil and complication of today’s world. The Hughes brothers were raised as outdoorsmen, and Eric draws here upon a childhood filled with happy hours afield. Acoustic instruments dominate, including Walter’s mandolin, which transports us all to a simpler era. Down in the mix can be heard a pair of wood blocks with sandpaper glued to them, rubbing back and forth as a percussion/rhythm instrument. Leo’s bass sounds out the notes of a chord, rather than the typical “walking” bass line. Brian Aylor provides percussion for this light, acoustic jam.

“Meet Me In Memphis” reminds us that the Eric Hughes Band are more than a mere blues band; Hughes and company deliver “Meet Me In Memphis”- an excitingly diverse, fascinating collection of Eric’s homegrown original songs that reflect the varied styles that make up Memphis music.

Truly a community effort, Hughes was able to produce this album with help from the very first “Slim’s Front Loan” by the Memphis Slim Collaboratory, administered through Community Lift, and backed by River City Capital. Fans of the Eric Hughes Band contributed funding through pre-orders and purchases, and helped make this album possible. In addition, several students of the University of Memphis School of Music Business have assisted as advisors and interns throughout this record’s creation.

The musical variety of Memphis is like a patchwork quilt: so many colors, fabrics and textures combine to form a unique, hip, soulful sound like no other. All members of the Eric Hughes Band grew up listening to the diversity of Memphis music, feasting upon the rich stew created by combining rock, blues, soul, country, jazz, and folk music. Naturally, “Meet Me In Memphis” draws upon these varied styles and influences.

Eric Hughes draws upon the experience gleaned from over three thousand shows in the clubs on Beale Street over his sixteen-year career in the creation of his fifth album. He has become an ambassador of Memphis music to the tourists who visit the Bluff City in search of true blues and authentic tunes, and for many of those visitors has become the face of Beale Street.

Hughes has set the bar pretty high, his previous releases earning two “Best Self-Produced CD” titles, a Muddy Mojo Award, and “Coolest Blues Song of the Year”. The Eric Hughes Band meets and surpasses the standard, however, with “Meet Me In Memphis”.

Track 1 “Freight Train of Pain” A rootsy blues-groove in the style of early ZZ Top or the Allman Brothers, this tune is inspired by bassist Leo Goff, who played the entire album on his 1963 Fender Jazz bass (with strings that have been on it since 1969). This imagery-laden rocker contains with some cool imagery here: fire, smoke, steam, grease, grime. Brian Aylor provides the locomotion on drums, while Walter Hughes shovels the coal onto the fire with his guitar.
“…a high-pressure steam boiler put on wheels and set to music.”

Track 2 “Meet Me In Memphis” Mixing soul, gospel, and a little blues, it’s practically a commercial for the city; here Hughes describes some of his hometown’s many charms. After having both guitars stolen in 2016, Eric felt low-down and angry; he knew that his funky mood had to be put to an end. In a stroke of defiant positivity, and drawing on all the things he loved about his hometown, Hughes penned this tribute to the Bluff City- and to many of the things that make Memphis a place like no other. In addition to the tasty drumming by Brian Aylor, and Leo Goff’s bass groove, Walter chimes in with soul guitar licks that draw from his Memphis music upbringing, his Beale Street roots, and the band’s Memphis lineage. The song reminds locals just “down-home hip” the city really is, and also beckons visitors to come enjoy Memphis. The voices of Reba Russell and Susan Marshall bring the chorus right on home, summoning that uplifting, powerful, sweetness that reminds you of church. Speaking of church, that piano and organ are calling your soul to come back to Memphis… that’s Chris Stephenson on keys.
Those mouth-watering drops of hot sauce are the horns of Art Edmaiston and Marc Franklin, on saxophone and trumpet.

Track 3 “Roll A Fatty For Your Daddy” Although the song is self-explanatory, it draws on a timeless theme that the blues genre has visited for decades: unwinding after a hard workday. Though this album from which it comes is incredibly diverse in styles, this particular song reminds everyone of exactly where the Eric Hughes Band’s roots lie: rowdy, fun, dirty Blues. Brian Aylor on drums and Leo Goff build a “stone” foundation for this “high” building to sit upon; Walter Hughes brings some extremely tasty wah-pedal guitar that compliments Chris Stephenson’s barrel-house piano.

Track 4 “The Day They Hanged The Kid” Paint a picture; tell a story; this song draws from hundreds of old cowboy shows. As a child Hughes was a fan of not only the “good guys” Lone Ranger and John Wayne, but also identified somewhat with the outlaws that endeared America to the “Bad Boy” long before rock & roll raised its greasy, sneering head. The ficticious “Kid” is nothing more than an amalgam of the American outlaw rebel, and The Kid gets what he had coming.
Leo Goff bass, Brian Aylor drums, Eric acoustic guitar, Walter Hughes backing vocals, electric guitar and a vintage 1950 Supro lap steel guitar…Chris Stephenson on keys. Marc Franklin’s trumpet transports the Kid up the dusty gallows steps to meet the angels.

Track 5 “Here Comes The Boogie Man” We’ve all been here. Alone…empty house, …what was that noise? There is no such thing as a “quiet summer evening” in the American South; whippoorwills, hoot-owls, cicadas and bullfrogs create an eerie auditory landscape that sometimes precedes the arrival of “haints”…ghosts such as lonliness, paranoia, and terror.
Brian Aylor summons “The One Who Comes At Night” on jungle drums and percussion, which includes a tabla drum once played by Grateful Dead’s Mickey Hart Eric Hughes plays acoustic guitar here, and also blows harmonica through his 1959 Gibson amplifier. Walter Hughes contributes some eerie slide guitar and sturdy rhythm lines, while Leo’s bass lines echo through the darkness.

Track Six “Left My Heart at Your Place” This heart-felt, jazzy, easy-listening love song inspired by and written for Eric’s wife Donna, when he first began to fall in love with her. Those hearts fortunate enough to have loved will readily identify here. Leo’s trusty jazz bass shapes every note with care, as Eric sings and plays rhythm guitar. Brian Aylor swaps his maple drumsticks for a pair of brushes to convey the smoky lounge feel that is complimented by Chris Stephenson’s beautiful piano. Round, jazzy tones from Walter’s hollow-body Gretsch guitar include one of the album’s most irresistible treats.

Track Seven “Midtown Blues” Hughes and company return to the juke joint blues that is their trademark with this hilarious, tongue-in-cheek number which pokes good-natured fun at Memphis’ Midtown neighborhood, where Hughes makes his home. Hughes fondly jabs at the “hipper-than-thou” and reminds us to not take ourselves too seriously. Dirty, overdriven harmonica by Eric, and Walter’s sweet/nasty guitar are complimented by a big fat groove by Leo on bass and Brian on drums. Chris Stephenson’s rollicking piano pushes the song into familiar Beale Street territory that will delight blues fans..

Track Eight “I’m Knocking On Your Door” This folk-rocker is based on a chain-gang work chant Eric heard on an old documentary about Parchman Prison. This song dredges deep into the Blues mud while maintaining a rock feel, and features some delightfully greasy slide guitar work by Walter Hughes. Eric’s acoustic guitar lines reinforce and punctuate the groove while Leo’s bass and Brian’s drumming keep the pace.

Track Nine “I Believe I’m Going Fishing” Lighthearted and open, this song reminds us that there are simple pleasures that remain, despite the turmoil and complication of today’s world. The Hughes brothers were raised as outdoorsmen, and Eric draws here upon a childhood filled with happy hours afield. Acoustic instruments dominate, including Walter’s mandolin, which transports us all to a simpler era. Down in the mix can be heard a pair of wood blocks with sandpaper glued to them, rubbing back and forth as a percussion/rhythm instrument. Leo’s bass sounds out the notes of a chord, rather than the typical “walking” bass line. Brian Aylor provides percussion for this light, acoustic jam.

“Meet Me In Memphis” reminds us that the Eric Hughes Band are more than a mere blues band; Hughes and company deliver “Meet Me In Memphis”- an excitingly diverse, fascinating collection of Eric’s homegrown original songs that reflect the varied styles that make up Memphis music.

Truly a community effort, Hughes was able to produce this album with help from the very first “Slim’s Front Loan” by the Memphis Slim Collaboratory, administered through Community Lift, and backed by River City Capital. Fans of the Eric Hughes Band contributed funding through pre-orders and purchases, and helped make this album possible. In addition, several students of the University of Memphis School of Music Business have assisted as advisors and interns throughout this record’s creation.

The musical variety of Memphis is like a patchwork quilt: so many colors, fabrics and textures combine to form a unique, hip, soulful sound like no other. All members of the Eric Hughes Band grew up listening to the diversity of Memphis music, feasting upon the rich stew created by combining rock, blues, soul, country, jazz, and folk music. Naturally, “Meet Me In Memphis” draws upon these varied styles and influences.

Eric Hughes draws upon the experience gleaned from over three thousand shows in the clubs on Beale Street over his sixteen-year career in the creation of his fifth album. He has become an ambassador of Memphis music to the tourists who visit the Bluff City in search of true blues and authentic tunes, and for many of those visitors has become the face of Beale Street.

Hughes has set the bar pretty high, his previous releases earning two “Best Self-Produced CD” titles, a Muddy Mojo Award, and “Coolest Blues Song of the Year”. The Eric Hughes Band meets and surpasses the standard, however, with “Meet Me In Memphis”.

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