A modern/instrumental rock album featuring original songs as well as some classics with new arrangements.
DON HUGHES – DON HUGHES (no label) Altoona’s Don Hughes began playing piano when he was 8 years old, and has continued to develop and hone his talents and composition skills. In 2004 he recorded with Fat Vinny & the Wiseguys on their Tight Play CD, and logged stage time as a member of the cover-performing group Generation Gap. Hughes introduces his own musical world on his self-titled all-instrumental debut CD. Written and recorded exclusively on the Yamaha Motif digital keyboard, the disc features thirteen pieces, including nine original compositions and four arrangements of classics. Hughes paints moods and textures with his palate of musical colors, spanning progressive instrumental rock to pop and classical styles. His original compositions include the rock-meets-classical, almost Trans-Siberian Orchestra tones of the opener “The First,” “Go For Broke,” “The One Man Warning,” “DT,” “I Got Your…” and “!” With its violin-like flavor, “Liz’s Song” takes on a Kansas-geared sound, while “Cemetary Beauty” displays a tender and more delicate tone. Hughes interprets some classics as well, offering his classical rock spin to Beethoven on “21st Century Fur Elise,” as well as Carl Orff’s “O Fortuna;” seamlessly fusing together some holiday standards on “Christmas Medley,” and delivering a reverent piano treatment of “Amazing Grace” to close the disc. Hughes’ compositions are dynamic, constantly shifting tempos and levels of intensity as different instrumental flavors are brought into the mix. Hughes’ arrangements and production are tight and efficient; serving the melody and plot of each piece without meandering or becoming indulgent. Don Hughes reveals his multi-flavored musical personality on his self-titled debut, and in the process provides an intriguing listening adventure worth exploring. (The CD can be obtained through Don Hughes’ website, www.donhughesmusic.com.)
Taken from "The Final Cut." Written by Jim Price for PA Musician (to be printed in either the August or September issue.