I set up today’s interview several weeks ago after taking a long day trip through out Wisconsin and listening to some great music. One of the CDs I listened to was Hugh Bob and The Hustle’s self-titled debut.
With song titles like "Ashland County," "Milwaukee Man," "Butternut" and "North Country," their music was the perfect accompaniment for a Wisconsin road trip. Some of my favorite albums of all time have that quality to it.
Hugh Bob and The Hustle front man Hugh Masterson is from a very small northern Wisconsin village called Butternut which has a population of just under 400 people in Ashland County. The "North Country" sound of the band derives from stories Hugh has finally gotten out of his system and on CD.
Previous to being the lead in this band, Hugh played bass guitar for well-known and respected bands Jaill and The Wildbirds. Hugh has become a staple of Milwaukee’s East Side. You may have seen him perform, but he’s also the kind of guy you just happen to run into when getting food at Izumi’s, or drinks at Hotel Foster.
The first time I saw Hugh perform he looked like he came straight out of the '70s. With his long hair, big beard, tattoos and tight jeans it made me think that I was seeing Stillwater from the movie "Almost Famous." Almost five years later things have slightly changed. The long hair is gone, but what’s most intriguing about Hugh is that he’s stepped up as an amazing singer and songwriter. Hugh has adapted well to the change and is determined to bring a piece of home to the bands music.
The Hustle is comprised of friends Quinn Scharber, Nicholas Stuart, Bradley Kruse and Justin Krol. Masterson and Stuart played together back in The Wildbirds (along with Scharber and Kruse), with Masterson playing a supportive role for Stuart’s singer-songwriter vision.
You can see the "North Country" sound of Hugh Bob and The Hustle when they headline the Summer Soulstice on Saturday, June 22 at 9:30 p.m. on the festival’s east stage.
In today’s Kramp Cast I talk to Hugh Masterson of Hugh Bob and The Hustle about growing up in the small town of Butternut, his musical and personal influences, struggles with family and writing music that matters. Plus he plays a new song called Bigger Man acoustic. Enjoy!
Over the past 16 years Brian Kramp has been a dedicated, recognizable and award winning personality on the Milwaukee airwaves. From his time on WLZR 102.9 and most recently on WLUM 102.1 he has been committed to Milwaukee and wants you to continue to be plugged in about our great city.
Kramp's podcast consists of original programming on Milwaukee news, events, entertainment, sports, food and fun in a relaxed format.
As the winner of 10 Wisconsin Broadcaster Association Awards including Best Large Market Morning Show in 2008, 2010 and runner up in 2011, Kramp is ready to bring quality broadcasting back to your ears via the podcast.