Philadelphia’s Hughie Mac shines new life and charm into the classic “Let’s Get Away from it All” from the album Hughie Mac Sings Some Great Songs Pt. 3. It is a great song, and Mac is a great singer. Drawing experience from his live shows in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Mac is a crooner with plenty of charisma and smooth delivery in this Frank Sinatra staple.
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The warm piano intro is just as crisp as the holiday nostalgia from the Vince Guaraldi Trio, and feels just as classy. Mac’s delivery of such classic lines as “Let’s go to Pompeii, we’ll be doing our do’ins right there in the ruins…let’s get away from it all!” What better timing, too, while braving the crowded stores, the constant jingle and added stress of holiday shopping, then to relax to the simple, pure lyrics of “let’s take a trip in a trailer, no need to come back at all, let’s take a powder to Boston for chowder, let’s get away from it all.” Yes, it’s easy to escape into the images and the romance of this lovey-dovey song. Della Reese, Rosemary Clooney, Patti Page and The Supremes have all covered this traditional pop song. Mac’s version is right on cue and just a superb trip down memory lane and to a simpler time. His talent really shines through and you can tell he has an affinity for the song.
If you’re looking for something more like a caricature of a lounge singer, then Mac isn’t your guy. He has a sincerity and likeability to his voice. Much like Mel Torme, Michael Bublé and even Jimmy Buffet (full disclosure – Mac’s bio shares that many have compared him to Buffett and by golly, it hit me that he does!) Mac’s personality and general warmth really comes through in this song. He’s a natural talent and natural performer. He’s a bit aged –his voice has a slight tarnish. It’s certainly not a distraction. I think he expands this song by bringing that feel of a live performance, the energy and instant rapport from a concert, into the studio. No, you can’t hear the cheer of an audience, or the clanging of plates and goblets, but rather it’s an innate energy and feeling. He has it.
Listing to this song in 2018, nearly 2019, doesn’t feel much different than first hearing this song in a movie, or from your parents’ record collection (or grandparents’ collection!) but the thrill and honesty of a classic tune never truly goes away. It’s not just a background song and I think Mac transports this to a fun, zesty track. “Let’s Get Away from it All” is timeless. No matter your zip code or musical tastes, Mac’s take on the song is suitable for jazz, pop, classical and even holiday playlists. The clarity and stripped down recording is ripe for a perfect night out on the town, or a cozy evening at home dancing in front of the fireplace. Hughie Mac’s “Let’s Get Away from it All” lives up to its standards and entertains.