Deirdre Hughes
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Deirdre Hughes

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"Spotlight on Deirdre Hughes"

Shine A Light: Deirdre Hughes
December 27, 2008

At twenty-two, county chanteuse Deirdre Hughes is too young to personally remember the golden era she recalls in “Turn Back the Hands of Time”, the title track off her debut CD. Nonetheless, the La Habra, California native clearly gravitates toward the classic sounds of the past in an album that pays tribute to country music’s rich legacy.

Hughes first sang in her church choir, but her song preferences were not strictly limited to hymns. She began to cultivate her musical voice by singing along with the recordings of superstars like Reba McEntire and Vince Gill. Well-received performances and demos eventually led to her first recording contract with independent label Satchel Catch Records where she was given the opportunity to premiere the songs on Turn Back the Hands of Time.

Ten of the album’s previously unrecorded titles are co-written by Elton John’s respected lyricist Bernie Taupin, whose roots in country music run deep. He penned the Grammy-winning “Mendicino County Line” for Willie Nelson and won a Golden Globe for Emmylou Harris’ “A Love That Will Never Grow Old” in addition to co-writing with Toby Keith and Carlene Carter. Hughes also gets to exercise her pen on the tracks “Change” and “Take Back That Feeling,” songs that can admirably stand alongside Taupin’s compositions.

The album’s title track is clearly its foundation. In a perfect world “Turn Back the Hands of Time” would be a massive hit. This graceful waltz has the potential to transcend genres. While some may argue that the song romanticizes the past by referring to the “the innocence, the purity that lay in country’s younger days”, the tune is actually much more than an ode to county music’s heritage. This is a song for anyone who’s ever danced when no one’s looking, who’s ever sought freedom or comfort in a melody, or who’s ever closed his eyes to catch a glimpse of a desperately missed person or place. When Hughes achingly sings of yearning for “the things that meant so much once upon a time/an honest man, a simple dance, and Patsy Cline” it’s a startling articulation of what’s been lost.

If Turn Back the Hands of Time has a fault, it’s probably that the album’s emotional climax occurs so early (during track number two). Other notable highlights include “Radiate,” “Heart of Glass,” and “In the Name of Dark Angels,” although arguably there’s not a single dud on the album. Hughes’ fine interpretive skills, combined with evocative lyrics and memorable instrumentation and arrangements, bring all the songs roaring to life, eliciting visceral reactions from the listener. Whereas some artists fail to engage others, Hughes demands a response from her audience.
- Word Press


Discography

Turn Back The Hands Of Time

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Bio

Deirdre Hughes, a 22 year old native of La Habra California, explodes onto the Country Music scene with a compelling series of powerful and distinctive vocal performances amid an amazing collection of previously unrecorded songs by lyricist Bernie Taupin. The writing partner of Elton John returns to Country with this follow up to his Grammy winning collaboration with Willie Nelson, Mendocino County Line." This mesmerizing song cycle revolves around Mr. Taupin's tribute to the great lady of Country in a song entitled "Turn Back The Hands Of Time, Patsy Cline." It evokes the majesty of his classic tribute to Princess Diana, the No.1 selling single of all time, "Candle In The Wind." To create the vocal melodies for a body of work by arguably one of the greatest living lyricists of the modern era is a heady challenge for any vocal artist. To accomplish this heroic task as the debut release of a recording artists career is an achievement of distinction.