â€œThursday would be good for a picture because I think Iâ€™m getting a perm on Wednesday night,â€ Fort Collins musician Maxwell Hughes joked inside the Alley Cat on Monday.
The idea of a perm is in stark contrast to Hughesâ€™ thick beard and pulled-back hairdo.
Thumb picks for his guitar sat on the collar of his T-shirt as he worked on homework within the confines of the local, eclectic coffee shop.
The Fort Collins musician stands out in this townâ€™s notable music scene. His style, which he described as â€œfinger pickingâ€ guitar, is unique, meticulous and intricate.
Hughes has played for seven-and-a-half years and spent his time learning how to make sound mimic that of multiple people playing at once.
He spent the last two years writing his new album, â€œExpressâ€ and is playing his CD release show at Everyday Joeâ€™s in Old Town tonight at 7 p.m.
Joeâ€™s suits Hughes well. The sit-down, eyes-up-front environment draws attention to the complex nature of Hughesâ€™ music.
There are no vocals, no percussion, no bass, no piano; actually, thereâ€™s nothing other than Hughesâ€™ guitar, which, in itself, projects the feel of a full band.
â€œExpressâ€ is Hughes second solo album, and tonightâ€™s performance will be something of a rarity.
These days, Hughes performs less as a solo act and more often as a member of Denver-based band The Lumineers. He joined the group after moving back to Fort Collins following a stint in Portland.
The Lumineers are readying themselves for their third tour, which will begin in March.
â€œWhat the Lumineers are doing is something totally different. (Hughes) has a lot more talent and ability than what he shows in the Lumineers,â€ said Jeremiah Fraites, drummer for The Lumineers.
â€œThe first time I saw him play I was mesmerized. Iâ€™ve never particularly enjoyed his style of guitar, but I was captivated by the way he writes his songs. It moves me on a personal level,â€ Fraites said.
This may be the last time to see Hughes play his own brand of guitar â€“â€“ in or out of Fort Collins â€“â€“ for a long time.
â€œThe emphasis is on The Lumineers, but for this week Iâ€™m focusing on my own stuff,â€ Hughes said.
The show begins at 7 p.m. and the price of admission is $5. Everyday Joeâ€™s is located at 144 S. Mason St.
Local Music Beat Reporter Nic Turiciano can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org._