In the late 1980s and ’90s Craig paid his dues playing in alternative rock bands while at the same time developing his acoustic blues chops as a street musician … lots of miserable, cold, wet busking from Glasgow through Central Scotland to the Edinburgh Festival and back. While kicking his heels between bands in 2005, some successful solo acoustic gigs led to the opportunity to record in Dublin. The resulting demo EP was well received and led to gigs in the USA as well as across Scotland.
Over the last few years, Craig has shared the stage with many of the leading names in blues and roots music from the UK and around the world, while proving himself equally at home appearing on underground rock bills. Acts he has appeared with include Tony T.S. McPhee (The Groundhogs), Spot (SST/Black Flag producer), Dave Arcari, Matt Schofield, Finland’s Black Country Bluesman & The Croaking Lizard, Estonia’s Andres Roots, the USA’s James Apollo and many more.
For over two years Craig hosted That Devil Music, a popular monthly alt.blues/roots gig in Glasgow, before switching to individual promotions in late 2010. Craig’s festival appearances to date include Bloom’N’Blues, Altus, Arkansas U.S.A. (2006, 2007, 2010), Oxjam Ashton Lane Folk Festival (Glasgow, 2007), The Glasgow Jazz Festival (2009, 2010), Fest For A Fiver (Glasgow, 2010), Record Store Day (Stirling, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014, 2016), Old Town Under Sound (Edinburgh 2012), Dundee Blues Bonanza (2012, 2013) and Almost Blue (Dundee 2016).
Craig has received generous support from local radio in Scotland and online. He has performed live in the studio and been interviewed several times for Sunny Govan FM in Glasgow and Edinburgh-based internet-TV show The Scottish Connection as well as for Celtic Music Radio, who also recorded and broadcast a live performance by Craig from Paisley Arts Centre in 2010.
Craig’s live reputation has been bolstered by excellent online reviews. Having previously played almost exclusively solo (guitar/vocal), Craig now plays with percussionist Ally Tennick in a duo billed as The Craig Hughes Two.
Craig’s debut album Pissed Off, Bitter And Willing To Share was listed by Canada’s Blues Underground Network as British Blues Album Of The Year 2009 (placed at number 6 in their overall Top 25 Albums Of The Year) and was championed by Mark Steel on Steve Lamaq’s Round Table (BBC 6 Music). Craig’s second full length album Losers and Bastards was released in late August 2013 to considerable acclaim online and in print, leading to another British Blues Album of the Year award from Blues Underground Network. Both albums picked up international airplay (across the EU, USA, Canada, Croatia, Macedonia etc).
Other releases include the EP Broke, Lonely and Guilty and the Graveyard Full Of Blues project, a split release with Sleepy Eyes Nelson featuring a mini-album from each artist. Craig’s half of the project, Pennies On My Eyes, was nominated for a 2011 Scottish New Music Award (Jazz/Blues Recording Of The Year). In November 2012, Craig released the E.P. Hard Times: Volume 1, which garnered great reviews and was named as Blues EP Of The Year 2012 by Blues Underground Network. Classic Rock Presents: The Blues Magazine went on to feature two tracks from this EP on separate cover-mount compilations. All releases are via Channel Nowhere (Graveyard Full Of Blues was a joint- release with Cheap Wine Records).
Since 2006, Craig has provided the music for several film and video projects as well as co-producing and performing on the album Ten Fires (2011) and follow up release I’m Not Lost (2013) for alt-country/Americana artist Jim Dead. Craig also now plays guitar with heavy rock trio Dog Moon Howl, whose live shows and first album, which was released in mid-2014, have picked up rave reviews online.