Local family band, the McHugh Boys of Deming, is no more. They have recruited sister Avery, age 8, and now they simply call themselves, “The McHughs.” And along with the new name and the new band member has come a new album.
The recording, “A Day Will Come,” was released on December 15 with a premier show, and includes covers of some of their favorite artists like George Harrison and Simon and Garfunkel, as well as their own compositions, including those written by the kids.
The McHughs’ sound is an eclectic folk blend, rich with vocal layerings and harmonies that is strengthened by the unique voices of each member.
WHO THEY ARE
The band is made up of the father, Tim McHugh, 58, on guitar and vocals, along with Morgan, 16, on guitar, saxophone, piano and vocals. Morgan also plays for the Mount Baker High School band. Casey, 19, sings and plays guitar and violin. New addition Avery sings and plays the violin. “The band is a total bonding experience” for the family, Morgan says.
Tim McHugh was formerly in the band The Lost Poets in the 90s. Morgan and Casey grew up jamming with members of the band, and were well versed in their songs. The McHughs still perform some covers of those songs, too. From the time they were able to pick up an instrument, the McHugh kids were playing, and it shows. You can hear how comfortable they are playing to each other’s strengths in their album.
Tim teaches English, language arts, and music at State Street High School in Sedro-Woolley. Casey manages to squeeze in playing time as a sophomore studying environmental science at Western Washington University; Avery attends elementary school.
Tim acknowledges that much of The McHughs’ success as a band comes from the kids playing on stage from a very young age. The band began playing as The McHugh Boys in 2012. Now Avery has chimed in.
“Avery has a really great, soft voice that is working really well with a lot of our songs,” Morgan says. “She’s really moving her way into it, just like I did at her age.”
Avery said that she’s been playing music with her family since she was about four years old. Her violin and singing abilities are far beyond her years, and her harmonizing on the new album’s title track “A Day Will Come” adds a fuller folk-singing element to the sound.
The McHughs are celebrating the album with a CD release concert set for Saturday, March 2, at Bellingham’s Firehouse Performing Arts Center in Fairhaven.
“We have watched Tim’s sons grow up and become wonderful musicians themselves,” says family friend Dudley Evenson. “It has been very exciting to see the whole family performing and recording together.” In their early days as The McHugh Boys, the band began playing regular shows at The Honeymoon Alley Bar and Cider House in Bellingham, and Rifugio’s Country Italian Cuisine in Deming. “They grew up with that confidence of playing in front of an audience,” Tim says. “I was in awe of their talents and abilities, and watching their growth blew me away. Forming a band seemed like the most natural thing to do.”
For more stories like this, visit our Lifestyle section here.