Jeff Hughes & Chaparral
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Jeff Hughes & Chaparral

Band Country Americana


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Chaparral-"Chaparral" 1997 Boars Nest
Chaparral-"Head For Cover" 2001 Sonic One
Included on "Austin Country Nights" 1995 Watermelon Records and "Buck Owens Tribute" 2000 Freedom Records



Jeff Hughes and Chaparral

Growing up on a steady diet of influences that range from Lynn Anderson to Johnny Cash to Neil Diamond, and later indulging in the rise of alternative icons like Echo and the Bunnymen and Psychedelic Furs, it makes sense that Jeff Hughes’ muses would be as diverse as the set lists of Chaparral, the country rock band he founded in Austin since the late 80’s. The promising vocal and songwriting talents of Hughes, together with Cid Sanchez (lead guitar), Vic Gerard (bass), Mike Hardwick (pedal steel), and Lee Potter (drums), would take reign as one of Austin’s most primed country acts in Chaparral. The group continues to energize with its audience friendly brand of honky-tonk, and combination of inspired originals and select covers that dancing shoes simply cannot resist.

Spending his early years in Dallas and Beaumont, Hughes kept strong ties in the area and got a dose of Deep Ellum’s punk scene after moving to the pine tree lined highways of Southeast Texas where he grew up amongst the rivers and bayous of Beaumont. After moving to Austin to attend UT, Hughes began to hone his musical skills and set his sights on the active live music circuit.

Hughes’ varied influences came to full light as Chaparral’s roster was cemented and dance floors swelled in response to the group’s smooth traversing between country standards and two-stepping versions of songs like REM’s “Rockville”. Welcoming a veritable stockpile of Austin’s brightest players onto the stage, Chaparral members have traveled and recorded with esteemed artists including Eliza Gilkyson, Marcia Ball, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Jerry Jeff Walker, The Derailers, Dale Watson, Doyle Bramhall, Monte Warden, and Trish Murphy. The group stormed area venues boosted by its amusing fusion of Americana, country, roots, and rock. They were voted Best Country Band by Austin Chronicle readers in 1992, and an editorial even dubbed the revitalized alt-country community as “The Chaparral Generation”.

After a 4 years publishing/artist development deal with EMI Nashville, and a hiatus to start a family, Hughes and his Chaparral cohorts made a steady return to the clubs and in 1997 released their self-titled debut on the “Boars Nest” record label. The effort earned wide praise and recognitions for its top shelf musicianship and appearances by the likes of Kelly Willis and Bruce Robison. Chaparral’s follow up, Head for Cover, was released in 2001 on Sonic One Records, and delighted fans and critics with a choice selection of covers revisited through skilled, twang-infused lens, from the Cure’s “Just Like Heaven”, to Guns ‘n Roses “Sweet Child of Mine”, to Roxy Music’s “More Than This”.

Jeff Hughes and Chaparral are already firmly planted on Austin’s honky-tonk totem pole, where they’ve been filling dance floors to the brim at establishments like the Broken Spoke and the Continental Club for years. Armed with skilled maturity and a genre-less perspective, Jeff Hughes and Chaparral are energized and ready to ascend even further with their unabashed modern stamp on a timeless honky-tonk formula.