Internationally acclaimed singer/songwriter, blue-eyed soul legend and pianist Grayson Hugh is known for his global mega-hits ("Talk It Over", "Bring It All Back", "How 'Bout Us") as well as his songs in blockbuster movies "Thelma and Louise" and "Fried Green Tomatoes".
Raised in the quiet suburb of West Hartford, Connecticut, Hugh moved to New York in 1986, determined to get a record deal. Camping out on an army cot in a friend's barber's basement, he soon was recording with musicians like jazz/pop bassist/singer Fernando Suanders and eclectic jazz producer and percussionist Kip Hanrahan. The fateful moment occurred when he and producer Michael Baker (The Blow Monkeys, Wet,Wet,Wet, Patty Griffin) just happened to be in the same upper East Side elevator. The two struck up a conversation and Baker ended going up to Hugh's manager's apartment to hear some songs. Amazed at what he was hearing on tape, Baker asked Hugh to play and sing the songs live on the acoustic piano there in the apartment. He later told his girlfriend "I've just found the next Buddy Holly".
The affiliation with Michael Baker (and co-producer Axel Kroell) resulted in Hugh's debut album "Blind To Reason", released on RCA Records in 1988. Hugh has been wowing audiences and gathering loyal fans around the world ever since with his masterful piano playing, his poetic lyrics and his soulful singing. "Blind To Reason" went Gold in the U.S. & overseas and his follow-up release "Road To Freedom" in 1992 was called one of the year's best albums by Billboard Magazine.
"Road To Freedom" also caught the attention of Hollywood. Director Ridley Scott heard an advance pressing and requested the use of two of Hugh's songs for the 1991 film "Thelma and Louise". Director Jon Avnet asked Hugh to record Bob Dylan's "I'll Remember You" for the ending of another hit film - "Fried Green Tomatoes". Using Eric Clapton's touring band, who just happened to be passing through the studio, Hugh dipped back into his experience as a pianist in a black gospel church as a youth, and arranged and recorded a gospel-style version of the song "that could raise the dead" (Peanuts, The Cleveland Sun, Dec. 3, 1992).
His songs have been called "poems set to music" and his voice has been compared to some of the greatest soul legends of our time. His piano playing has been called "a veritable cyclone of soul, drawing its energy from such diverse regions as the swampland funk of Professor Longhair, the testifying soul of Ray Charles, with the rhythms of African drumming and American bluegrass thrown in the mix." - Benny Metten, Ctrl. Alt. Country, August, 2010.
In 2010, Hugh released his long-awaited comeback album, "An American Record". The praise from Pulitzer Prize-winning Miami Herald columnist Leonard Pitts Jr. was glowing: "In a world where music is often a brittle artificiality, the music he makes is hard and strong, convicted and convincing. And true. Most of all, true. It's there in the gritty lament of his voice, in the roughhouse eloquence of his piano, and the atmospheric poetry of his words. He has that thing Sam Cooke and Ray Charles had, that thing you still hear sometimes in Bruce Springsteen, that lonely, train whistle in the dark thing, that yearning, keening thing that gets right to the heart of what it means to be alive, what it means to be a human being. This is 'An American Record'. Some of us are glad the wait is over at last." - Leonard Pitts Jr., Miami Herald, March 8, 2010
Performing with Hugh is his wife and harmony singer Polly Messer, a former member of the swing band Eight To The Bar and the New York-based rockabilly band Eugene Chrysler.
Currently Hugh is writing songs for his next record, which is scheduled for a release sometime in 2014.