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CD Review: Mike Hughes - To Make An Angel Cry - by Bob Everhart for Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show

To Make An Angel Cry
Alright I'll Sign The Papers - Country Girl - Heart Over Mind - I Just Came To Get My Baby Out of Here - Ramblin Man - Nobody Writes A Country Song - Better That Way - The Souths Gonna Do It Again - Playboy - Time and Patience - To Make An Angel Cry

It was a remarkable experience for me to meet Mike Hughes at the Macon, Missouri, old-time country and bluegrass festival that takes place every year over Labor Day weekend.  Mike is a close relative to an old friend of mine, Cyril Stinnet.  I used to play 12-string guitar behind Cyril, and had a great time, simply because he was the best fiddler in America around that same time.  Mike Hughes is carrying on that excellent 'real' country music tradition, and on this super neat CD he uses both fiddle and steel to 'keep it country,' two of the elements that are now rarely heard in commercial country music.  Aubrey Haynie plays the fiddle on this CD, and Eddie Lange is on the steel.  These two guys will let you know that this kind of instrumentation is still alive and well, and more, sounding better than ever. Mike has a super voice exactly suited to this kind-of-Texas style of country honky-tonk music, even though he makes his home in Missouri.  He recorded this excellent 'sound from the past' at the Hilltop Studios with John Nicholson doing the engineering.  Yes, Mr. Nicholson 'knows' what to look for and how to place it in the mix.  Excellent job well done.  Dirk Johnson is on piano adding a little Texas honky-tonk sound to the overall mix, and Kelly Back holds his own on electric guitar.  Lonnie Wilson is on drums, and doesn't drown out the pickers or the vocalist, super well done.  Joel Key on acoustic guitar adds the just right 'string' sound.  It's the 'real-deal' honky-tonk style with a little Missouri 'spirit' thrown in to make it a little better.  Mike Hughes is well known in the world of music, you can find a really nice video out with him singing with Rhonda Vincent and Moe Pitney on Larry's Country Diner show.  Rhonda Vincent lives just a few miles north of where Mike was appearing at the first Macon, Missouri, Country & Bluegrass Festival, where I got to hear him in person.  He's as good live as he is on recordings, and this one is going to find it's way to the Rural Roots Music Commission while I still have time to get it to them. It makes me so disappointed that 'country music' on the charts is so lacking in a 'country' sound.  But perhaps 'control' is what that is all about.  Control of not only the artist but the music itself.  It was a pleasure to meet and talk to Mike Hughes about music and his involvement in it.  Nice going young man, super good CD.
RECORD REVIEW BY: Bob Everhart, President, National Traditional Country Music Assn.  www.music-savers.com for Country Music News International Magazine & Radio Show

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