Raised in Tamworth, imbued from a young age with country music, before moving off to Sydney and immersing himself in the city’s gritty punk scene, McHugh now calls Brisbane home, he and his family ensconced within the hot damp that defines the Queensland capital, home to a slew of primal, passionate music over the years.
Adding to this cannon, in writing for his second record, McHugh has come full circle and now calls country home once more. But it’s intelligent country, poignant and vivid. McHugh comes from the Paul Kelly school of songwriting in that simplicity is key and everyday life makes the best stories.
It’s a simple approach to song writing, and yet in McHugh’s hands, it’s powerfully raw and real. Stories set to a musical score that both throbs with a visceral power, and gently pulsates with a calmness and tranquillity.
In putting together a band, McHugh went back to his Sydney punk roots, and enlisted a clutch of players who used to tread the three-chord boards with him – at a glance, you’d think this interesting that a bunch of punkers would band together to play country, but it works well.
The new release City Bound Trains due in late 2017, which follows on from 2013’s Trials & Cape Tribulation is produced by Brendan Gallagher (Karma County), and is a neat and strong package that showcases this growing songwriter’s talent to a tee. Honesty is at its core, everyday life its muse, Paddy McHugh the master of it all.