About

Grayson Hugh
New England

Bio: Internationally acclaimed singer/songwriter, blue-eyed soul legend and pianist Grayson Hugh is known for his global mega-hits ("Talk It Over", "Bring It All Back", "How 'Bout Us") as well as his songs in blockbuster movies "Thelma and Louise" and "Fried Green Tomatoes". Hugh has been wowing audiences and gathering loyal fans around the world for more than two decades. His 1988 debut album, "Blind To Reason", went gold in the U.S. & overseas, and his follow-up release, "Road To Freedom", was called one of the year's best albums by Billboard Magazine. His songs have been called "poems set to music" 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. Performing with Grayson is his wife and harmony singer Polly Messer, a former member of the swing band Eight To The Bar and the New York-based rockabilly band Eugene Chrysler. Besides his more intimate duo concert shows with his wife, Hugh formed a new band in 2015 called Grayson Hugh & The Moon Hawks, featuring a hard-rocking rhythm section of drummer Tyger MacNeal (formerly with The Average White Band and Jose Feliciano, among many others), bassist Anthony Candullo (who has performed with Yonricco Scott of The Derek Trucks Band, Natalie Forteza, Michael League and members of Snarky Puppy, Duke Robillard, Live Society and Bernie Williams. On guitar is 17 year old Bobby Paltauf. When Grayson first heard him in the Fall of 2015, Hugh quickly recruited him to join his new band. “You close your eyes and you think you’re listening to a veteran star like Albert King or Steve Cropper with decades of playing under their belt; you open them to see a young man playing!” says Grayson. Blues master Buddy Guy was so impressed with Bobby’s playing he featured him at a concert at The Ridgefield Playhouse (Ridgefield CT) in 2011. Of course, on harmony vocals, is the incomparable Polly Messer. In 2010 Hugh released his long-awaited comeback album, "An American Record". Pulitzer Prize-winning Miami Herald columnist Leonard Pitts Jr. was moved to write: "In a world where music is often a brittle artificiality, the music he makes is hard and strong, convicted and convincing. And true. Most of all, true. It's there in the gritty lament of his voice, in the roughhouse eloquence of his piano, and the atmospheric poetry of his words. He has that thing Sam Cooke and Ray Charles had, that thing you still hear sometimes in Bruce Springsteen, that lonely, train whistle in the dark thing, that yearning, keening thing that gets right to the heart of what it means to be alive, what it means to be a human being. This is 'An American Record'. Some of us are glad the wait is over at last." - Leonard Pitts Jr., Miami Herald, March 8, 2010 Hugh released "Back To The Soul" in 2015 to rave reviews. Lee Zimmerman, writing in Elmore Magazine, said: "A committed soul man for the better part of the past 27 years, Grayson Hugh makes a joyous noise on his latest LP, the aptly dubbed Back To The Soul. While certain songs bring to mind the archival imprint of Otis Redding, Al Green, Marvin Gaye and Jerry Butler, Hugh’s original material gives the album a freshness and vitality that avoids any hint that this album is anything other than an absolutely spontaneous celebration. The art of procuring pure soul and genuine R&B has seemingly been lost in recent times, given the preponderance of rap and hip hop on the popular music scene. Kudos then to Grayson Hugh for reminding us of not only how it all began, but where it should remain." —Lee Zimmerman January 5, 2015 Elmore Magazine

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