Beyond the Reach of Reason
Roger Hughes is a guitarist/singer-songwriter with a gift for melodic hooks and arresting lyrics. A professional musician in the late 60s and 70s, he recorded on the Mercury, Smash and RCA labels, was under contract with Milt Okun (John Denver, etc.) and had two songs published in the Best of Modern Folk Music (Cherry Lane Music, 1973). He was inducted into the Iowa Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000 as a songwriter. Leaving the road in the late 70s, Roger has continued to practice his craft by making CDs in his professionally equipped home studio. Beyond the Reach of Reason, produced in 1995, is a collection of folk-rock songs. Paul Stubblebine at Rocket Lab Mastering Studios in San Francisco, had this to say about it: 'Real songs, real arrangements, a great performance. This recording is better than a lot of the stuff we see at our mastering lab that comes from big time performers and expensive studios. It's a collection of rock and art songs with a message of hope, and more than a little irony. Roger Hughes is a mature artist who is in complete control of his craft.' Big Picture Man, produced in 2000, branches out into instrumentals and jazz, along with folk-rock. In addition to the satirical 'Big Picture Man' title cut, listeners have particularly gravitated toward the instrumentals, such as 'Cargo.' Roger's latest CD, If I Knew Myself, is more eclectic still, weaving together modern rock and pop ('Uncertainty,' 'Pain of the Game'), jazz/rock ('The Eternity,' 'The Cosmic Fool') and what might be described as lyrical 'art songs' ('Justine,' 'House of Bamboo'). Roger describes his latest CD this way: 'For a songwriter, music is a journey of self-expression, and therefore of self-discovery. I start with an idea, a theme, a feeling and see how it works itself out in the music. Most of the songs on this CD follow that pattern, but I've also updated a few songs from earlier recordings, plus included music that represents a particular genre. It's what I'm doing now. With any luck, I'll be doing something different tomorrow.' Roger's music is much too eclectic to ever make him a household name. Still, it's worth getting to know. Here are some comments from listeners: 'How come you're not famous, man?' 'Slick lyrics. '503' and 'City of Dreams' [Beyond the Reach of Reason] alone are worth the price of admission.' 'Love 'Big Picture Man.' You ought to send it to President Bush.' 'I keep coming back to the instrumentals [Big Picture Man]. You ought to do a CD of just that.' ''Para Lingua' [If I Knew Myself] really zones me out. How did you do the Gregorian Chant?' Check the music out. You won't be disappointed.