Monday, September 17, 2007

Evan McHugh - From the Second Chair



As a child, I was a first chair violin player. Yes. It's true. That doesn't have much to do with this post, other than that's what the title of Evan McHugh's album, From the Second Chair, reminds me of.

As much as I harp on how much I don't like singer/songwriters, I've found quite a few lately that are making me drop tears of emotion into my half-glass-empty beer. The very first time I heard McHugh, I was immediately drawn because the music, which borders on folk rock, reminded me of the man I would give my first-born child for, Rhett Miller. I don't know if it had anything to do with my personal issues at the time, but I was so moved by "What Would You Do," and the lyrics that I literally listened to it 100 times in about two days. There's such an underlying heartbreaking tone to the songs that I can't help but wrap myself up in every song like they're some kind of comfort blanket from my childhood. "Last Train Home" basks in a jazzy mood that makes me wish I was sitting in a bar with a martini and a stogie. I wouldn't be surprised if Michael Buble ends up trying to rip this song from McHugh.

McHugh has the ability to jump from sound to sound and keep your ears perked and tuned for the next ration of guitar-fused goodness. There's nothing boring or mundane about this album, and that simple fact is enough for me to mark myself as an instant fan. It's engaging. It's captivating. It's yummy. Sold!

You can go listen to four songs on McHugh's MySpace site (linked above). Note that his vast variety of sound oozes talent like lava from a newly erupted volcano. When you're done, open up your old school calendar, or whip out your PDA, and mark this down: Thursday, September 20, Smith's Olde Bar, ASCAP Showcase with Evan McHugh and the Bridges. (As a sidenote, if you haven't seen the Bridges yet, you better get on it. These kids are going to be big superstars in no time, and then you'll kick yourself in the ass for not taking advantage of a small, inexpensive show when I told you to. Multiple times. Mark my words.)
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