“Skipping Stones” starts off with an emotionally-full piano line that goes into some serious harmonies soon after. The great thing about this is that it opens up into a very reggae-infused sound, with horns to boot. There are no vocals present, but there is little need for them; the arrangements are that full and impressive that the inclusion of the vocal at the onset was not necessary. This is not what is popular in the clubs and radio stations of the United States, but the catchy styles and sounds provided by the Maeve Hughes Trio is enough to bring some new listeners to the fold.
The easy way into the fast track of popularity may just be through “Skipping Stones”. With all of the fame that artists like Akon and Sean Paul have gotten in the last few years, moving into this reggae-infused style may just work for the Maeve Hughes Trio. Of course, if this track had came out in 1996 or 1997, I would have suggested it work with the ska/reggae music that was popular. What I guess I’m saying here is that this track is fun, easily to listen to, and will provide individuals with something that they can easily draw from. A track like “Fly Away” moves into a more of a smooth jazz type of sound. This track may not have the immediate marketability of “Skipping Stones”, but will easily top the jazz charts as soon as word of this disc spreads. The vocals are great here because they do provide the same type of storytelling that individuals are familiar with, while giving the rest of the instrumentation something else to work off of. It is this tendency to use multiple layers that is why I like the Maeve Hughes Trio so much; something that is almost as impressive are the high notes that Hughes eirself reaches during “Fly Away”.
The bass sounds that start out “Broken Wing” show that there is something new to hear; individuals cannot merely listen to one or two tracks on “Begin From Within” and understand what all the Maeve Hughes Trio has for individuals. The scratching further differentiates this track from the other ones on the disc. While it is true that the Maeve Hughes Trio is not going to be on top of the Hot 100 any time soon, I foresee some charting in the future for this band. A strong vocals and intelligent instrumentation ensure that.
Top Tracks: Skipping Stones, Fly Away
Maeve Hughes Trio – Begin From Within / 2007 Self / http://www.maevehughes.com / Reviewed 04 June 2007