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History Page


He was born in the same year as Princess Diana and always loved listening to music, especially the great rock bands and singer songwriters of 70's. Music lessons at school did nothing but dampen the enthusiasm for learning to play however Hugh continued his musical education watching local bands and listening to Led Zeppelin, Rush, Bad Company, Steely Dan, Jethro Tull, Black Sabbath, Yes and AC/DC.








He was inspired to take up the harmonica by seeing Nine Below Zero play at a couple of early 80's Reading Rock Festivals but lacking any tuition/instruction he gave it up until he went to see the Rolling Drunks, a local R&B band and realised that if somebody local could play blues harmonica in a band, then he could too.


After finding a book and tape, sitting down and practising, he was eventually offered the opportunity to join the newly formed blues band The Producers in 1991. The Producers material has been played on most major radio stations throughout Europe, the USA and the Antipodes. A decade later, after winning "Blues Band of the Year" three times, the group folded.


Hugh has gigged throughout the UK at major festivals and smaller venues in France, Belgium, Holland, Eire, Germany, Spain, Switzerland, Gibraltar, Mallorca, Tenerife and New Zealand.


He has performed with or supported members of the following bands: Queen, Manfred Man, Ray Charles, The Animals, Jethro Tull, Black Sabbath, Fleetwood Mac, The Yardbirds, Van Morrison, Muddy Waters Band, Benny Gallagher, Whitesnake, Wishbone Ash, The Jam, The Flirtations, Robert Cray, Ronnie Earl and Taj Mahal. Often asked who his main harp playing influences are he cites Kim Wilson, Norton Buffalo and Howard Levy as the leaders in their genres.


Hugh is currently fronting his own band "The Blue Chords" a collective of fine musicians in duo to quintet format as well as guesting with Pete Harris (acoustic blues duo, trio and full electric band) and some well known local bands as needed. He also runs the popular Lord Nelson Rhythm & Blues Jam on Poole Quay as well as Harv & Hugh's Rhythm 'n' Blues Jam with Harvey Hark (see gig list)


Outside of the blues field Hugh is performing with "The Pick Ups" playing Rock 'n' Roll covers


Past acts have included Jookin’, The Speed Twins, Arecibo Blueshouse, The Graham Mack Blues Band (2CR), Solstis, Jinks,

The Mr Smiths House Band, The Bob Pearce Blues Band, The JuJu Men (rock 'n' rollin' blues), The Chicago Hit Squad as Elwood Blues in a rendition of the Blues Brothers Review, The Romance of Bond (James Bond songs) and V Force (Rock & Soul covers) The Forcefull (Rock n Soul covers), Big Hat No Horse (Country Music), The Red Crow (Blues Rock) Chris Collins & Blues Etc. (Chicago Blues) as well as teaching and doing Harmonica workshops at festivals. 

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