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HughShows welcomes back contributing music journalist Mara Meyer. A graduate of Point Park University, Mara is also a visual artist and concert photographer, who is beginning her career within the Pittsburgh music landscape and I couldn’t be more thrilled in highlighting her wonderful work on the blog.

Anthony Heubel and the High Lonesome Band / Released April 2020

Anthony Heubel and the High Lonesome Band join up to bring folk/Americana vibes with a slight country twist. The Pittsburgh, PA based group consists of Anthony Heubel and Zach Bronder on guitar and vocals, Pat Coyle on drums, vocals and percussion, Nate Campisi on bass, Greg Decarolis on keys, piano, organ and bass, Read Connolly on pedal steel and dobro and Richie Colosimo on trumpet. The group together released their self-titled album on April 24, 2020 through Wild Kindness Records. The album provides a 10 track set solely written by Anthony Heubel. The album was recorded by Campisi at a camp in the Allegheny National Forest. Heubel wrote this personal album based off of experiences he has endured. The listener is taken on a journey of ups and downs along with him as he reflects.

The beginning track entitled “A Good Ending” starts off with an instant catchy heavy acoustic guitar and overlaying sound to get you moving. You may find yourself tapping your foot along to the beat. Heubel reminisces on nights with friends and the never ending life story they are creating. The next track “Gutter” leads off on a more solemn note of hardships and leads to a climax of finding one’s place and continuing forward. In “Desert Islander” one instrument is added at a time to create an undeniable folk rhythm. The instrumental sections dominate this track as I found myself being taken away with the melody. The intro to “Beg or Borrow” is accompanied by a whistle tone adding yet another level to the arrangement. The track gives off more of a stripped down feel with the accompaniment of acoustic guitar throughout the piece. “Avalanche” shows off Heubel’s vocal range with words of thoughts and feelings holding him down yet trying to find a reason to hold on to hope. In “Ode To Jesse” the stripped down arrangement allows the vocals to truly shine. Heubel’s vocals allow a pure and honest approach drawing one into the story of loss and separation. The seventh track on the album “Real love” explains how there may be bumps but there will always be love. This song I found as the most relatable as relationships take work but together can conquer all. “Spitting Image” turns from indie to rock vibes halfway through. The ending feels like a celebration with the trumpet becoming prominent. The ninth track “Sad Old Moon” layers vocals for emphasis. The track feels mystical and wholesome as it stands out against the others on the album. I can imagine this live as the lights go low and the crowd sway along in awe. “This Same Old Way” closes the album with an inviting melody and thought grabbing lyrics as Heubel sings “No one should have to get used to living like nothings gonna change”.

The storytelling qualities of Anthony Heubel and the High Lonesome band along with their musical talent has brought about an incredible piece of work. The full album is available to listen on Bandcamp.

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Support contributing writer Mara Meyer

HughShows would like to welcome contributing music journalist Mara Meyer to the fold. A recent graduate of Point Park University, Mara is also a visual artist and concert photographer, who is beginning her career within the Pittsburgh music landscape and I couldn’t be more thrilled in highlighting her wonderful work on the blog.

Lady Jessica / ADD MIXTAPE / Released January 2020

Pittsburgh born and Boston-based artist Lady Jessica aims to bring joy through her newest work of art. The groove-based singer, songwriter, keyboardist and performer uses her tunes to get the audience in the groove with her. Lady Jessica, student at Berklee College of Music put a collection of her work together ranging throughout 2019. The former member of band entitled Sun Hound discovered a solo root with a mix of genres. Lady Jessica’s work ‘ADD Mixtape’ released January 1, 2020 provides a short length fourteen song collection for the “on-the-go listener”. She produced and engineered every song honing into her true musical talent. While finding the “stoner-soul” sound as Lady Jessica describes the mix turns into a vibe itself.

The song “Glow” starts off the 14 song album with lyrics of growth and moving into the light with a positive upbeat accompaniment. It is followed by the electronic snipes of “Fallen” hinting on the effects of social media. The upbeat sound with sultry vocals of “Share My World” shares some love. A tune of strength backs a deeper vibe in her next piece “Arrow Song”. Lady Jessica brings back the love with a touch of lust in “I Just Wanna” as a heavy keyboard sound brings depth to the piece. In “You’re A Zombie” she hits a deep tone with striking vocals in a hit against media. Halfway through the album, Lady Jessica brings us into her life with “Night Walk” featuring a calming tune while focusing on her strong vocals with strategic belts. The shortest song on the album “Intuition” keeps us wanting more as the repetition makes the piece unforgettable. “Saying it Aloud” brings us major R&B vibes paired with lyrics of hurt and confusion. “Clear my mind” is said to connect the soul to the body. When listening to this piece I found myself relaxed and ‘clearing my mind’ as the lyrics suggest through the range of musical accompaniment. The eleventh track of the album “Buried Treasure” gives off mysterious vibes with its hypnotic instrumentation along with alluring vocals. Following is Lady Jessica’s “It’s Okay” with positive lyrics and upbeat instrumentation. The “outerlude” is focused on calming you down as I felt my eyes close as I swayed along, doing just the trick. The fourteen track album finishes off with “Gatekeeper” (Remastered) which relies heavily on Lady Jessica’s vocal range as she sings about moving forward.

Lady Jessica’s collection of work has involved growth, overcoming challenges and getting to know oneself. The fourteen song collection is available to listen right now on Bandcamp.

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Support contributing writer Mara Meyer