Friday, June 16, 2017

Sam Gleaves & Tyler Hughes -- Sam Gleaves & Tyler Hughes

There are few things better than seeing Sam Gleaves and Tyler Hughes live. I had the privilege of seeing them perform at Queer Country Quarterly a few months ago, and it was truly a joy. They're two of the most aligned musicians I've ever seen. I've written before about Gleaves' triumphant Ain't We Brothers?, a magnificent selection of songs that addresses the queer Appalachian experience. I was one of the few people in the room who was familiar with Gleaves' original music, though I'm sure I didn't leave with that being the case. Not only was it thrilling to see them perform, but I loved seeing the recognition and appreciation of excellence dawn on everyone else there. In that moment, we all became a part of something bigger than ourselves. It doesn't happen often at shows, but I got a little teary.
With the new album, Gleaves and musical partner Tyler Hughes seek to resuscitate traditional music of the past while adding a few more to the canon. In particular, this album features the great American protest songs of the past -- from more well-known tunes to "Bread and Roses" and "Georgia Row" to "My Stone Mountain Home," written by Wise County, VA’s Kate Peters Sturgill. Hughes' original song, "When We Love," is a forceful call to action that lands softly with Gleaves and Hughes' sublime harmonies. The album closes with Ola Belle Reed's "Tear Down the Fences," a strong reminder that the songs of yesterday are just as relevant today as they were to their contemporaneous audiences.

Sam Gleaves --  Official, Facebook, Store
Tyler Hughes -- Official, Facebook, Store
Sam Gleaves and Tyler Hughes -- Official, Bandcamp

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