The buzz around Hugh Phillips’ freshman release is palpable, almost a year in the making he is finally ready. As a lifelong auto technician this says a lot given his midlife turn-around to pursue professional music in 2010. Hugh has a natural talent to song writing where he’s able to sit down and come up with a tune that has a great story with emotion we all know as humans on this earth. This record exemplifies this through his descriptions in songs like Hydrocarbon Heaven and Just a Little More. The feeling of place and friendships is real, since Hugh has had a connection with the western landscape since a boy.
Produced by Stephen Mougin at Dark Shadow Recording in Tennessee, the sound and arrangements are stellar. Mougin is known for work in the bluegrass world, as well as producing plenty of great sounds from reggae to rock and country. In his studio in Goodlettsville, Stephen and Hugh went to work as producer and executive producer respectively, on creating the magic that the record is, through appropriate timings, openness and instrumentation. The solos and interludes on tracks like Jack Devise and Bird Song resonate clearly, invoking a beautiful and well-rounded sound engineered by Mougin.
As a whole the first release from Hugh Phillips is one amazing record and should please audiences worldwide. Much can be credited to his upbringing in music and creative drive to write songs for the folks who live in the western frame of mind.