MP3 Tim McHugh and the Lost Poets - You´re Not Alone
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FOLK: Political, ROCK: Acoustic
Option Magazine once compared Tim McHughâs own blend of folk and rock to musical heavyweights like Roger Waters, Greg Lake, and Paul McCartney calling his 1989 debut release Shadows on the Land, âso good that it seems effortless.â The Fishwapper compared the lyrical power of his second release Youâre Not Alone with Bob Dylan, yet his music defies categorization. While much of his music has allusions to the folk and rock of the sixties and early seventies, McHughâs unique approach to the twelve-string guitar often mixing with a hard edged rock sound is unlike anything happening in contemporary music today. Tim always places a high premium on melody and originality and uses many altered tunings for a unique result; he considers the late Nick Drake to be yet another profound influence in his ever evolving musical tapestry.
Tim spent his childhood fishing and hiking in the mountains of the Pacific Northwest before embarking on his musical journey. He began composing songs in his head long before he ever picked up a guitar. When he was ten he began banging out songs on the piano. Over the course of his adult life, heâs played in several bands and released four including the nationally acclaimed, Shadows on the Land.
Tim has supported many humanitarian and environmental causes over the years and has shared the stage with such diverse artists as Kris Kristofferson, Sara Maclachlan, WAR, Tower of Power, Bonnie Raitt, Little Feat, The English Beat, Floyd Red Crow Westerman, John Trudell, The Cult, Country Joe McDonald, The Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy, and Garnet Rogers among others. While he has spent the past few years taking a musical hiatus to write novels and music, he is currently working with some of the hottest musicians in the region as he reemerges on the musical scene.
Bellingham Bands After Dark
Music Reviewed, Revered and Reviled
The Week dragged by with its usual predictability and as the sun descended, my energy arose with a vivacity I have yet to understand. I was bristling with life and was slated to observe a folk-rock act at the Beech House Pub. Normally I would have been frothing for the energy of a screaming power trio (or perhaps a roof ride on the Amtrak_, instead I resolved to enjoy the more sedate experience of Tim McHugh.
My friends, I could not have been more wrong. McHugh was teamed up with the dynamic and masterful guitarist Jon Knouse from the frosty shores of Alaska. They wended through Timâs material with a ferocity I had never experienced before.
The bar was jam-packed with hairy hippies and whirling dervishes, each returning all the energy the two musicians could dish out. Timâs music is an often haunting assortment of heartfelt odes to the beauty of Earth and the precarious state of its health and this evening it was delivered with an intensity rare for this band, not to mention this venue.
Dancers spilled out onto Magnolia Street and began swinging from the rafters like chimpanzees and quick-stepping across those wooden pylons in front of the bar. It was ecstatic mayhem and truly inspiring to see a crowd of composed freaks spring to life with the power of an acoustic act.
Tim McHugh is a Bellingham son and a thoughtful, intelligent songwriter. Run out immediately and purchase his brilliant releases Edge of Forever and Youâre Not Alone. You wonât regret it.
Ted Rosen Talk of the Town
Lost and Found: Singer Tim McHugh Still Wonders Where He Fits In
Bellingham singer-songwriter Tim McHugh, leader of Tim McHugh and the Lost Poets, says his groupâs name has more to do with its place in the late 20th Century than with any lack in the sense-of-direction-department.
âWeâre not sure where we fit in,â says McHugh. âWeâre not following any trend. We have the burden of trying to create our own niche.â
The five piece acoustic electric band which has been together in various line-ups for several years at festivals and concerts with such acts as Bonnie Raitt, Sarah McLachlan and Kris Kristofferson.
At 8:00 p.m. Saturday, the band performs at the Allied Arts Theater in a party to celebrate the release of Timâs CD Edge of Forever. For the event, vocalist Caryn Simmons and electric violist Anna Schaad will join the Poetsâ line-up of McHugh on acoustic guitar and vocals, bass player Jim Lindquist, and drummer John Neighbor. All five Bellingham residents played on Edge of Forever. Guitarist Jon Trimble Mack also played on the album but is currently out of the country. Timâs music not easily pigeonholed.
âWe can go anywhere from an acoustic sound to a Jimi Hendrix thing to a more fluid fusion rock sound,â he says. âMy songs are a reflection of how I see the world and how I see myself in the world. Some of the songs I write have a bit of angst in them, but the irony is that I and the band are all pretty goofy, off-the-wall people.â
Although McHugh originates the songs, he says, the rest of the Poets give their input.
âTheyâre a phenomenal group of musicians and great friends and the collaboration makes it a blast,â he says.
The cover of Edge of Forever features a photograph showing a shirtless McHugh heaving an acoustic guitar into the Pacific Ocean at Kalaloch on the Olympic Peninsula. McHugh says the photo reflects the two-mindedness he feels towards music and finishing the CD.
âItâs one of the things thatâs closest to my heart, the only thing I feel I have to survive. At the same time, thereâs this sense of relief that Iâm finally done with the project. Throwing the guitar into the sea was kind of an exclamation point.â
The CD required more than 18 months of recording and mixing. Despite gigs with such big-name musicians as Bonnie Raitt. Tower of Power and Sarah MacLachlan, McHugh is not star struck though he does have a long-term vision. âIâd like to be able to reach a lot of people with my music. Music is such a powerful medium of expression,â he says. âYou can reach people and connect with yourself in a way you canât do with other forms of art.â For McHugh, music is all about communication.
His bandâs upcoming gigs in the next couple of weeks include Bellinghamâs Memorial Day weekend Block Party downtown along with shows in Seattle and Olympia.
Mike McQuade The Bellingham Herald
Tim McHugh Live at Boundary Bay
Spreading his compassion, charm and love of life, Tim McHugh tantalized the Boundary Bay crowd with his grassroots rock music with a folk flare on Oct. 22. Performing solo, armed with acoustic 12 string guitars to accompany his powerful lyrics, McHugh left his large audience cheering for more of his self-expressive music written and composed from the heart.
He opened the evening with the title track from Edge of Forever, his Lost Poetsâ most recent album and hardly before the last notes had faded into the roar of his cheering audience he was ripping into his classic, Youâre Not Alone. As one song followed another, he wooed the audience as he sweltered under the lights. During the song Redemption, he revealed his true mastery of the acoustic guitar as he broke into an interlude of sensationalism while the capacity crowd sat dumbfounded and awestruck watching his fingers flying over the 12 overworked strings of his guitar.
âMusic is a real catharsis for me,â he said after the show. âI love to share that with my audience.â
As he gains a larger audience, McHughâs ultimate goal involves combining his art and activism and believes his concerns mirror those shared by most peopleâglobal warming, deforestation, war, a growing disparity between the rich and the poor, and the constant challenge of finding meaning in our fast paced society.
âI believe weâre all artists in our own ways,â he said. âBut the challenge is for us to honor whatever gifts we have and use them for the common good. Thatâs all Iâm trying to do.â
Given the passionate response heâs been receiving from his growing audience, he stands to make a lasting impact on the world.
The Western Front
Tim McHugh: The Lost Poet Returns with Contemporary CD
Get Ready For The Rain begins with the frantic strumming of a 12-string guitar, the chords ringing out like an alarm bell: âJohnny is a little boy, he lives in any town, on the surface he will smile but inside his whole wide world is crumbling downâ¦â
The song Get Ready For the Rain is one of 14 fabulous tunes from Tim McHughâs newest CD Fools Like Me.
The new recording reveals McHugh both as an artist with a passion for exploring the essence of humanity in his lyrics, and a flair for backing them up with daring and finely-honed music. Get Ready For the Rain is a hunting slice of commentary on gun violence among our nations youth with its eerily prescient portrayal of a young boy who was âtired of getting picked onâ¦â and who resorts to the use of firearms to get his vengeance.
Prescient, because McHugh released the song on CD just a few weeks before the Columbine massacre in Littleton Colorado. This however is prime Tim McHugh territory where he tackles pressing social and political issues in our society with the same fervor he displays in playing his 12-string guitar.
Ever since his 1989 debut Shadows on the Land, McHugh has built a loyal base of fans throughout the Pacific Northwest with his often searing acoustic guitar playing combined with his passionate, heart-felt lyrics. Heâs made peace with the fact that his music seems to draw out the reflective, brooding poet who is keenly aware of the lack of attention given to certain issues like gun violence, war, etc. and thatâs something that he takes seriously.
Fools Like Me features a fine selection of solo tunes and a few remastered songs from McHughâs years as the front man for the popular Northwest band, Tim McHugh and the Lost Poets. Fans of the Lost Poets will enjoy the inclusion of Before the Light, a two part song Tim considers to be one of the bandâs best creative outputs, and You are the Love I Need, considered one of the signature songs from the height of the groupâs popularity.
Sprinkled throughout the rest of the CD are a combination of older and newer songs in including Find the Narrow Road, which McHugh claims was written in five minutes.
McHughâs approach to assembling the material for Fools Like Me was more artistic he says. He chose to release songs with more personal meaning taken from his personal archives. âSome of the best songs Iâve ever written are songs no one has ever heard,â he says. âMusic is a very personal and cathartic thing for me. Iâm not thinking about an âaudienceâ when I write.â
The title of the album remains a catch-phrase for the element of idealism that McHugh hopes his listeners will garner from his music. He hopes that âthere are enough fools like me in the world who are willing to believe that even in this age of growing cynicism that things really can change when people are real with each other.â
Make no mistake, Fools Like Me is McHughâs best recording to date and if all it takes are a few more âfoolsâ to help change the world, then you can count me in.â
Joseph Ponder, The Bellingham Weekly
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