It’s rest assured that the state of songs from the great American songbook are in safe hands when it comes to Hughie Mac. One of Philadelphia’s most beloved local singers, and a prolific one at that, his most recent collection of songs, Hughie Mac Sings Some Great Songs Part 4, continues his sonic journey of bringing some of the most enjoyable popular music from the past 50-plus years to life. From his rendition of “The Twelfth of Never” to some of Frank Sinatra’s signature hits, Mac does it his way and succeeds at giving the listener that extra grin, that extra pizazz.
In true Mac fashion, his album contains nearly two dozen hits. With that amount of romance and melody, it’s hard to turn away from Mac’s charm and impressive impassion he has for singing. What he lacks in big-band production on such songs as “Changes in Latitudes, Changes in Attitudes” or “Come Fly With Me” he certainly makes up for in moxie and character. It’s evident that Mac is smiling while he’s roaring along to the chorus of such songs as “My Way” or “New York New York” is that he impresses upon the listener to get up, enjoy the beat and escape into his positive aura.
Never straying from his comfort-zone pitch and range, one can hear the special attention he gives to each lyric, each note. In songs like “The Glory of Love” and “Orange Colored Sky” Mac makes it easy to snap along, bop along to the charm and the synergy he creates with his music beds (often just a rousing piano). He’s memorable to say the least, and based on the songs he’s chosen, Mac has the listener transfixed with his crooning. I loved how he can go from covering Johnny Mathis, to Jimmy Buffet to Frank Sinatra. He does it all with the artistry of someone that may or may not have sung these songs a million times in front of thousands of audience members – still he’s fresh and he continues to have that ‘kid in a candy store’ enthusiasm. I suppose what you can glean from his song choice, too, is that these songs have left such an emotional, youthful imprint on his own life, that he’s transferring that to his listener. Even if you were just listening to Mac on Spotify, as background noise, he takes the focus and makes you dance along or at the very least hum along. Sometimes he adds just a dash of playfulness or a hint of debonair – these are all cherished little times that will keep you smiling and on Team Hughie Mac.
Hughie Mac Sings Some Great Songs Part 4 doesn’t lose its luster. Even after a few listens, Mac gets the listener rearing to go on another spin – he breathes new life into each and every one of these timeless songs. Young or old – we’re all young at heart and Mac seems to be carrying the torch for songs that trigger such a wide range of emotional love.