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Hughes Family Band raise a final pint on 'One Last Night with Nathan Hughes'

In April 2020, about a month after the pandemic shut down everything, Milwaukee's Hughes Family Band released a music video for their song " Death of Me." It's a simple video, just some rousing live footage captured at a bar filled with smiling faces, many of whom happen to be players in the Milwaukee music scene. Everybody's having a blast.

I watched that video a lot that spring, because it captured so much that I'd been missing -- live music, revelry, community. It was a reminder, too, of the reward that lay in store once all this was over. Even though I was stuck inside, sanitizing groceries and quarantining my mail, I could watch that video and fantasize about having a great night out again.

Sadly, Hughes Family Band won't be soundtracking that night. The band's co-founder Nathan Hughes died in August, an enormous loss for his family, friends and bandmates, but also for the Milwaukee music scene, which frankly needed an act like Hughes Family Band. They were such a fun band, the kind of good-time attraction that had so much potential to bring people together at summer festivals around the city. They were really on to something special, a distinctly Milwaukee, DIY spin on classic country and honky tonk.

Hughes Family Band | Courtesy photo

Hughes Family Band still have new music to share, though. The band recorded an album just before the pandemic, then finished it during quarantine before Nathan's death. And though that loss can't help but hang over the band's upcoming album, titled "One Last Night with Nathan Hughes," it does little to diminish the joy and humor in these songs.

Recorded and mixed with Kyle Urban of MotorCo Studios in Madison and mastered with Justin Perkins of Mystery Room Mastering, the album is available for preorder today on Goodland Records. And we're excited to premiere the first track from the record, a giddy shot of Exile on Main St.-ified country called "Off The Line," which was penned by Nathan Hughes and sung by bassist Connor LaMue.

You can stream the new song below.