Local artist records premiere album

Vermont musicians rarely lose passion for their work despite the frequent need for travel.

Brett Hughes is a Burlington based singer songwriter focused on Americana.  He performs every Wednesday at Citizen Cider and is currently recording his first album in Nashville, Tenn.

After getting a guitar as a high school graduation gift, Hughes spent his college years at UVM learning to play, he said.

In time, he had acquired the skills to join his first band, a new wave group, playing alongside the people he had met while exploring the Burlington music community.

Years later, Hughes landed a decade long residency at Radio Bean playing Honky Tonk Tuesdays, but he would not have anyone confuse that with what he calls “Bro Country,” Hughes said.

“Well the country music on the radio is horrible,” he said.“From time to time I tune in and I’m just terrified by what I hear.”

Hughes borrows and mixes the different musical traditions of bluegrass, country and folk, he said.  

Hughes admits to “poaching” musical styles but the words are all his own. This songwriting process can sometimes come down to a matter of luck, he said.

“It’s kinda like holding out my apron and hoping to catch something falling out of the tree,” Hughes said. “When one of those songs comes and you’re awake to catch it, you’re the luckiest person in the world.”

Hughes’ affinity for country music led him to Nashville, Tenn. He fell in love with the scene, he decided to record his first album in the city, he said.

“I learned a lot in Nashville,” Hughes said. “Everyone down there plays their ass off, and you meet so many people down there that’re just lovely, it’s a great scene.”

Despite his respect for the south Hughes maintains that Burlington’s music scene is second to none, he said.  

He encourages everyone to participate in the Vermont city’s musical community, the birthplace of his passion for playing music, Hughes said.

“There’s a really incredible group of musicians in Burlington,” he said. “It’s a powerful scene up here and I’m so glad to be a part of it.”