It is getting to that time of year again when Christmas music takes over all the sonic space from shopping malls to car radios. I think we can all appreciate the holiday sounds for a little while but when all we get to hear is the same old tired versions of the same old songs it gets old real fast. After some searching, we discovered something fresh from a new name, Don Hughes.
For the Pennsylvania native, the piano was part of his life from the age of eight. Don Hughes would show off his learned talents throughout high school winning numerous talent shows including the longest running talent competition in Pennsylvania, the Crazy Fest Annual Talent Show. He would later even become a judge of the esteemed talent show.
Through performing with a few diverse bands over the years, Don Hughes picked up the variety of influences and skills needed to become a complete musician. His cover band Generation Gap showcased 3 generations of musicians, playing covers from the 60s to the 00s. It was here where he polished his skills playing in a live environment as well.
After some time away from the music scene to pursue a personal life, including marrying his longtime girlfriend Elizabeth, Don Hughes is back with a holiday record to bring something new to the genre. November 8th saw the release of It’s Christmas to turn classics into unique gems. The 11 track record opens with a version of “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” that shows we are in for something different. Recollections of Mannheim Steamroller and Trans-Siberian Orchestra come to mind.
Don Hughes’ talent on the piano really shines on “We Three Kings”. The layered melodies create a beauty that raises the level of the golden oldie. The spacy atmospheric version of “Deck The Halls” lets the mind wander to a relaxed place among all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. The beautiful piano returns on “Angels We Have Heard On High”. It is different and fresh yet still as pretty as the original. The album closes with “Joy To The World” using interesting sounds to bring us all back to the altered reality that is the Christmas season.
When you are truly ready for something that is familiar enough to keep the holiday spirit yet fresh enough to keep your interest and attention give It’s Christmas a listen on Don Hughes WEBSITE.