Jan 272011
Authors: Nic Turiciano

“Thursday would be good for a picture because I think I’m getting a perm on Wednesday night,” Fort Collins musician Maxwell Hughes joked inside the Alley Cat on Monday.

The idea of a perm is in stark contrast to Hughes’ 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 town’s notable music scene. His style, which he described as “finger picking” 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, “Express” and is playing his CD release show at Everyday Joe’s in Old Town tonight at 7 p.m.

Joe’s suits Hughes well. The sit-down, eyes-up-front environment draws attention to the complex nature of Hughes’ music.

There are no vocals, no percussion, no bass, no piano; actually, there’s nothing other than Hughes’ guitar, which, in itself, projects the feel of a full band.

“Express” is Hughes second solo album, and tonight’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.

“What the Lumineers are doing is something totally different. (Hughes) has a lot more talent and ability than what he shows in the Lumineers,” said Jeremiah Fraites, drummer for The Lumineers.

“The first time I saw him play I was mesmerized. I’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,” Fraites said.

This may be the last time to see Hughes play his own brand of guitar –– in or out of Fort Collins –– for a long time.
“The emphasis is on The Lumineers, but for this week I’m focusing on my own stuff,” Hughes said.

The show begins at 7 p.m. and the price of admission is $5. Everyday Joe’s is located at 144 S. Mason St.
Local Music Beat Reporter Nic Turiciano can be reached at verve@collegian.com._

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