Hugo

The Thai-British musician Hugo Chakrabongse (he goes by his first name only) is the sole country and folk-influenced artist on Jay-Z’s Roc Nation label (his roster-mates include Willow Smith). Last week, Roc Nation released Hugo’s full-length debut, Old Tyme Religion, a funky, soulful collection of songs, including his infamous banjo-plucking, foot-stomping cover of his boss’s “99 Problems,” as well as noteworthy tracks like the lively “Bread and Butter” and the humming “Hopelessly Stoned.” The man’s an original—a singer devoted to 60s roots music who’s determined to spread his blues-rock tunes through a hip-hop label. “I think it's important that rock and roll always looks outside of itself,” he told me earlier this year, “because that's what made rock and roll, the fact that it was drawing these other, maybe less commercial influences, drawing from blues, country, gospel, soul, all these things, and taking it to a broader audience.” With Damato. ERIN K. THOMPSON

Mon., April 18, 7 p.m., 2011

 
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