Grayson Hugh

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Composer;Instrumentalist;Performer;Songwriter

American Roots;Country;Soul;World

Keyboards;Percussion;Piano;Saxophone

IC-US-CT-SouthWestern

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Raised in the quiet suburb of West Hartford, Connecticut, singer/ songwriter/pianist Grayson Hugh moved to New York in 1986, determined to get a record deal. After several months there he met the producer Michael Baker, who, after hearing Hugh play and sing live, told his girlfriend, "I've just found the next Buddy Holly".


Baker brought Hugh to RCA Records, and that meeting resulted in the making of his RCA debut album, BLIND TO REASON, which was released in 1988 to international acclaim. Hugh has been wowing audiences and gathering loyal fans around the world ever since with his masterful piano playing, his poetic lyrics and his soulful singing. Blind To Reason produced several global mega-hits (Talk It Over, Bring It All Back and How Bout Us) and some award-winning music videos. The album eventually went Gold, first in Australia, then in the U.S. His follow-up release, ROAD TO FREEDOM, was called one of 1992’s Top Ten albums by Billboard Magazine.


Grayson’s music also caught the attention of Hollywood. New York filmmaker Nancy Savoca asked him to record the soul classic "How 'Bout Us," for her first full length movie TRUE LOVE, released in 1989. Grayson asked soul diva Betty Wright to join him in an updated duet version of the song. It was featured prominently in the film and was added to a second printing of BLIND TO REASON. It became Hugh’s third hit single from BLIND TO REASON, and the video for it, shot in New Orleans, went into heavy rotation on VH1, MTV and BET. 


In 1990, Director Ridley Scott heard an advance pressing and requested the use of several of Hugh’s songs for the 1991 film THELMA AND LOUISE. They settled on two of them, "I Can’t Untie You From Me," and "Don’t Look Back." That same year another director, Jon Avnet, asked Hugh to record Bob Dylan's "I'll Remember You," for the ending of his film FRIED GREEN TOMATOES. Using Eric Clapton's touring band, Hugh dipped back into his experience as a pianist in a black gospel church in Hartford as a youth, and arranged and recorded “...a gospel-style assault of the song that could raise the dead." ~Peanuts, The Cleveland Sun, Dec. 3, 1992).


His songs have been called "a soul/rock stew with a dash of blues and a pinch of country" ~ Stone Phillips, The Today Show, and his voice has been compared to soul legends Sam Cooke and Otis Redding. His piano playing has been called "a veritable cyclone of soul, drawing its energy from such diverse regions as the swampland funk of Professor Longhair, the testifying soul of Ray Charles, with the rhythms of African drumming and American bluegrass thrown in the mix." ~ Benny Metten, Ctrl. Alt. Country, August, 2010.


Following some unpleasant experiences with his record label and business managers, Hugh took a sabbatical from the music industry. He relocated in 1994 to coastal North Carolina where he continued to write songs and perform. He returned north in 1999, and took a job teaching songwriting at Berklee College Of Music in Boston. A near fatal relapse with alcohol that began in 2000 found Hugh living in a sober house in Cape Cod from 2004 through 2007, where he began to rebuild his life and rejuvenate his spirit. In 2010 the long-awaited release of the album AN AMERICAN RECORD heralded the return of Grayson Hugh.


His record latest album BACK TO THE SOUL was released in August 2015 and has been garnering rave reviews.


Hugh is currently working on a Roots Country album called SAVE YOUR LOVE FOR ME, featuring some of the top Roots musicians around today, including Pete Kennedy on guitars, banjo, mandolin (Nanci Griffith, Emmylou Harris, Mary Chapin Carpenter), Cindy Cashdollar on dobro, lap steel (2012 Texas Music Hall of Fame inductee, Willie Nelson, Sonny Landreth, Ray Benson), Tony Garnier (Bob Dylans’s bassist and musical director since 1989, Saturday Night Live Band, Robert Gordon, Tom Waits), fiddler & guitarist Gary Oleyar (Marty Stewart, Jim Messina, Pam Tillis, Mick Fleetwood, Trisha Yearwood), drummer Tyger MacNeal (Average White Band, Jose Feliciano, Grayson Hugh & The Moon Hawks), vocalist Polly Messer (swing band Eight To The Bar, rockabilly band Eugene Chrysler, Grayson Hugh.)


Hugh is also collaborating with Hungarian film director Balázs Hatvani on music and songs for the upcoming film CAPTAIN FLAME, set for a release sometime in 2021.


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