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Marco Kielholz: Guitar

Born and raised in Switzerland, Marco Kielholz started playing Classical Guitar at age 10. A few years later, drawn by the Beatles and the sounds of American Music, Marco picked up the Electric Guitar and started playing in Rock and R&B Bands soon thereafter. Marco toured the world for two years starting in 1994 with […]

Owen Davis

We have a new band member in the lineup. Owen Davis is a multi instrumentalist and vocalist, transplanted to Minnesota from the East coast. He has a B.A. in music composition and history from Keene State College in New Hampshire, and has been playing in rock bands since well before he could even drive himself […]

I’m free at last, its in the past, I’m free to choose what I want to do
I’m free at last, and I’ll stand fast, at long last it’s just me and you

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2014

Upcoming | Archive: 2015 2014 2013

I’m back in the USA, I been away too long
I’m where I belong, Yeah I’m back in the USA

Terry Hughes

Releases

In_the_Blink_of_an_Eye_370
In The Blink of an Eye

Terry Hughes – Vocals, Hammond B3, Piano, Synths
Marco Kielholz – Guitars, Vocals
Jonathon Thomas – Bass (tracks 4, 7 and 8), Vocals
Dave King – Drums
Bob Beahen – Percussion
Joe Johnson Engineer
Release May 2014

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terry-mtbaw
More Than Black and White

“More Than Black and White” is the first 2013 release from Terry Hughes. Recorded at the Deep Blue Studios, The Hideaway and The Terrarium in Minneapolis.
Produced by Joe Johnson and Terry Hughes
Engineering Joe Johnson and Ryan Bouche
Release Date January 2013

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Light looks different on the water today
When I went out for a smoke
Wind came up and blew my plans away
Time to head for the coast

Terry Hughes

GROWS UP

Terry Hughes
 It was Ralph Waldo Emerson who said, “Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.”

Terry Hughes knows something about all this, and he didn’t need Emerson to school him. As Terrence Hughes, the 58-year-old California native became a well-regarded jazz pianist and a passionate player/purveyor of Brazilian music in the Twin Cities. He studied under Brazilian-born pianist Manfredo Fest (1936-1999) and had previously performed with various jazz and rock groups in St. Louis, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. For the past two decades, Hughes has been a fixture on the Minneapolis jazz scene, regularly recording and performing at the Dakota Jazz Club and beyond.

Now Terrence Hughes has morphed into Terry Hughes, an organically sophisticated singer/songwriter with two CDs under his belt and much more to come. Sounding not unlike Jeff Buckley and Gram Parsons’ long-lost middle brother, the latest Hughes incarnation – as heard on his latest, “In The Blink Of An Eye” (2014) was a long time in the making.

“I’m a rock guy, I started out as a rock guy, but I never sang – not since I was a kid,” said Terry, whose punk/new wave band Eye Protection played the Bay Area at the height of punk’s first wave in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. “When I was a Catholic school kid, I would sing in choir. And when we transferred to public school, I really missed singing in choir. We still went to church, so I joined the church choir and loved it and then I was 10 or 11 and it kind of went away.

“When I went to college, I studied music at Webster University, and I sang in the choir. I was a composition major and piano was my instrument, and at the end of the year, everybody got to pick a song they wanted to sing at the end of the concert. I picked a song by Traffic, and I sang it and the lead singer of the band kind of made fun of my voice. I was 19 years old, he mimicked me, and I kind of shrunk from that: ‘I’m not gonna be a singer, I’m just gonna be a musician.’ It really inhibited me.”

Forty years later, Hughes realizes that he and not a voice from his past or present may be his own worst critic, and now he’s singing up a storm. After recording a Manfredo Fest tribute CD in 2009, Hughes went through some personal turmoil that led him to taking a year from music and getting himself centered.

“I went to the gym and started working out and played a lot of golf,” said Hughes, a recovering heroin addict. “Which is just weird. I’ve never been athletic, I didn’t know my way around a gym, and now I’m totally into that. I grew up surfing, and I love that. It’s the best. It’s the coolest thing you can ever do. Just being on the water and that whole thing.

“But my daughter is in college and she’s always turning me onto new music. I haven’t listened to any rock other than Nirvana for years. And [in 2011] she played me some Elliot Smith and I heard it, really heard it. By about the fourth song, I was sold.

“So I decided I wanted to come back to music. But I didn’t want to sit at a piano again. I walked away from it and came back with a guitar. I haven’t played guitar since I was 14. So I just started, and… I wrote a song. My first song. It was called ‘Cheyenne,’ and the opening line is, ‘Shooting up in a station in Cheyenne/Halfway to hell on this long highway.’

“It’s my story of coming to Minnesota a few years ago. I was strung out and [heading for treatment]. I went back to that period of my life and I said, ‘If I’m going to write songs I want to [tap into] this rich, crazy life that happened in San Francisco with all this music, drugs, girls, stuff. I’m going to explore that.’ The writing was therapeutic. There were times when I’d be teaching myself to sing, and singing, and I would be choked up and crying because it was so real to me.”

The mined memories have resulted in “In The Blink Of An Eye,” Hughes’ sophomore release as a rocker/singer/songwriter. Fueled by an ace band led by guitarist Marco Kielholz and drummer Dave King and spiked by Hughes’ own Hammond B3, piano, and synthesizer work, “In The Blink Of An Eye” is a weird and weirdly timeless addition to the fertile Minnesota singer/songwriter milieu, and beyond. From the jubilant opening singalong “I Never Knew Your Name” to the ruminative title track and the cathartic dark epic “Free At Last” and seven more, it’s clear that Hughes is just now coming into his own as a heart-exposing soul singer and as a delicate, wizened songsmith.

“It’s important for me that the music stand alone,” he said. “A good song should be able to get across with just a guy and a guitar. You don’t need all the arrangements. The music that I do is primarily the Beach Boys meets Tom Petty and Steely Dan. That’s what this is. It’s four-part vocal and a bunch of songs about California, because a lot of my experience is in California.

“When people ask ‘What does your band sound like,’ I would have to say ‘classic rock.’ Dave King called it ‘post-ironic rock,’ because it’s not ironic. It’s straightforward rock. My goal was to not sound like the Eagles and not sound like a barbershop quartet. And somewhere in between there, there’s some cool stuff.

“There’s two kinds of songs on here. There’s songs that are really meaningful to me, and then there’s songs that are just fun songs. There’s a song on here called ‘Who’s That Girl?,’ and it’s about this girl back in the day, I’m 24 years old playing a club in San Francisco and I see this girl in the audience, and that’s what the song is about. That’s all. It’s just a fun song about a girl I saw once.”

I didn’t sing for 40 years because I was afraid to. I didn’t write, or say what I wanted to say because I was afraid to. What was I afraid of? I was afraid of what someone would think about me

If he’s not already, such an admission could get Hughes kicked out of the jazz snob club for good. Rock & roll has always been jazz’s dumbed-down cousin, and Hughes realizes that to some, his trajectory will look like slumming rather than artistic growth.

“It seems like a backwards step, but what I really think about that is it’s a myth,” he said. “We can stay tied up and bound by our fear or we can say, ‘Great, let’s play.’ I didn’t sing for 40 years because I was afraid to. I didn’t write, or say what I wanted to say because I was afraid to. What was I afraid of? I was afraid of what someone would think about me.

“So instead of starting from a place of strength and saying, ‘I own this,’ it was ‘What are they gonna think?’ It was all out there and it’s not there anymore. Now, at my age, 58, it doesn’t matter anymore. I’m free of that and there’s nothing to be afraid of. Once I really owned that, once I really got that, it allowed me to be creative.”

Like never before. At the moment, the veteran player’s goals are modest: write, record, play live, and connect with other people via his songs. He’s got regular gigs at Morrissey’s Irish Pub and the Driftwood Char Bar in Minneapolis, and he wants more. He said he has no need or desire to be famous, or to jump in a van with a bunch of guys and go on tour.

More than anything, the husband, father, and business owner’s main mission is to keep following his heart and reclaiming his voice.

“It’s everything I do. I can’t even do anything else,” he laughed. “My friends are all like, ‘Let’s go play golf’ and I’m like, ‘OK, um… See ya someday out there.’ This is what I want to do. I wake up in the morning and I want to write songs and sing. Four years ago, the idea of me whipping out a guitar and singing one of my songs to a bunch of strangers in a coffee shop was impossible and now it’s no problem. I could do it right now.”

Showed up high for a gig, got kicked out of the band
I spent the night in the city jail, with my head in my hands

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