New York, NY
Venue Address (Get Directions)MUSIC AT THE MEETINGHOUSE - First Church Of Christ, Congregational
Date and Time
Saturday, August 3rd, 2013 at 7:30pm
Blue-Eyed Soul Legend
and POLLY MESSER
~A Midsummer's Night Concert~
MUSIC AT THE MEETINGHOUSE
Summer Concert Series
First Church of Christ, Congregational
499 Town Street, East Haddam, CT 06423
Saturday, August 3rd, 2013 at 7:30 PM
RECEPTION TO FOLLOW
Tickets $15 at the door, $12 in advance
On Saturday, August 3rd, 2013 East Haddam residents will get a treat when internationally acclaimed singer/songwriter Grayson Hugh and his wife singer Polly Messer present "A Midsummer's Night Concert" in The Music at the Meetinghouse Summer Concert Series at the First Church of Christ Congregational, 499 Town St., East Haddam, CT. The concert will begin at 7:30 p.m. A reception with the artists will follow the concert.
Grayson Hugh is the son of a classical music radio host and his mother grew up in Shanghai, China, the daughter of a missionary. He grew up in West Hartford, Connecticut.
He started playing the piano at three years old. In his teens he was influenced by rock and roll but also was the pianist in an African-American gospel church, studied with jazz pianist Jaki Byard and avant garde pianist Ran Blake, and composed for several well-known choreographers.
In 1980, he released “Grayson Hugh" (19 Records) and in 1986, frustrated with the local music scene, he moved to New York and was signed to RCA Records in 1987.
In 1989, three singles from the album “Blind to Reason” made it into the Billboard Hot 100 and “Talk It Over,” reached the Top 20. “Bring It All Back” and “How ‘Bout Us” were also international radio hits in 1989.
Hugh’s second major album, “Road to Freedom,” received wide acclaim. Billboard Magazine called it one of 1992's top ten albums. "Road To Freedom" also got the attention of Hollywood. Director Ridley Scott put two of the songs, “I Can’t Untie You From Me” and “Don’t Look Back,” in the film "Thelma and Louise" (1991). Another director, Jon Avnet, asked Hugh to record Bob Dylan's "I'll Remember You" for the closing song in the film "Fried Green Tomatoes" (1991). Hugh dipped back into his experience playing piano in an inner city black church in Hartford and recorded a rousing gospel version of the song "that could raise the dead" according to one critic.
In 2008 Hugh married Polly Messer, former singer with Eight to the Bar, and in 2010 he released his first CD in 15 years, "An American Record", to the delight of his many fans around the world.
Those attending the concert will be getting a special preview of songs heard for the first time in public as Grayson is in the process of creating songs for a new record. Recently back from a writing retreat on Block Island, Hugh said in a recent interview "I get inspiration from nature and seclusion, and Block Island, before the Summer crowds hit, is one of my favorite places to be. The ideas just flow freely there".
Hugh's connection to East Haddam and First Church of Christ Congregational in particular go back to 1973, when at the age of 22 he composed the score for a hour long CPTV Halloween Special called "When Witches Hovered Near". The show aired nationally on the PBS Network for several years. The teleplay drew on local legends and was filmed on location in East Haddam, with the narrator introducing the two stories from the church itself. A DVD of the show will be playing at the reception, for those interested to see it.
Tickets to what promises to be a great concert (and a chance to meet the artists) are $12 if bought in advance and $15 the day of the concert. For tickets, call 860-537-2052.
“Once again, Grayson Hugh rocked the Kate leaving our audience begging for more. A lot of people play our piano, but nobody whips it into a frenzy like Grayson.” - Chuck Still, Executive Director, Katherine Hepburn Cultural Arts Center, Old Saybrook, CT, April 10, 2012
"Grayson Hugh did a spectacular show the other night at Infinity Music Hall. Blue-Eyed Soul's Prodigal Son is back - and stronger than ever." - Jack Forchette, Director of Entertainment and Business Development, Infinity Music Hall, Norfolk, CT, May 21, 2012
"…his music is soul in the sense that it looks you in the eye and speaks to you from the gut, that it is real, honest and - we keep coming back to that word - true. This is "An American Record". Some of us are glad the wait is over at last." - Leonard Pitts. Jr., 2004 Pulitzer Prize winner for Commentary, The Miami Herald, March 8, 2010