Texas recording artist and singer-songwriter Chris Hudgins’ infectious and soulful musical vibe has been in the making for as long as he can remember. Blurring the boundaries of R&B, Soul, Gospel, and Pop styles, Hudgins cultivated his core style and musical interests while growing up in the Lone Star State.
The now Lubbock-based troubadour traces his deep musical roots back to his relationship with his family while growing up in the small West Texas town of Dumas. The family’s musical collection ranged from Bread and The Beach Boys to Keith Green and Second Chapter of Acts.
“I remember having very strong emotional responses to songs growing up, and eventually decided that I wanted to understand the mechanics of what was happening in songs, so that I could have these experiences more often and give them to others,” Hudgins recalls.
But it wasn’t until his junior year in high school that he began to think he would likely pursue music over other more career-oriented paths.
“Some of my earliest memories are of listening to my parents sing harmonies to songs on the radio in our cream-colored Chevy pickup,” Hudgins remembers. “When I was around nine, I started joining in, and I remember playing this game with my Mom where I’d hop on her part and see how long it would take for her to hear the missing harmony, then go find it. ‘Christopher! Stop that!’ she would say. Those were some fun times!”
After high school, Chris moved to the Bluegrass State to attend college at Western Kentucky University in order to continue his relationship with his high school sweetheart, Abby. Taking with him his Pawpaw’s bass guitar and amp, he set off to WKU where he studied music more formally. He gave his first live solo performance at the Army base at Fort Campbell, Kentucky in 1999, and also received some other once-in-a-lifetime performance opportunities throughout, like singing with vocal group Take 6, opening for Bill Mallonee & The Vigilantes, and performing live at the 2000 Dove Awards in the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville. But it was here in college where Chris learned the secrets to writing a good song, and which inevitably solidified his decision to become the full-time professional songwriter and performer he is today.
Over the years, Chris has found musical inspiration in artists that range the musical gamut from Bruce Hornsby, Christopher Cross, Kirk Franklin, Michael Jackson, Jeff Buckley, Tears For Fears, Brian Wilson and The Beach Boys, and Bryan Adams, just to name a few.
“The first CD I owned was Kirk Franklin & the Family, and I wore it out,” said Hudgins. “It was my introduction to Black Gospel, and I was absolutely hooked.”
“I’ve also always loved the orchestration skills of Brian Wilson,” he continued. “The Beach Boys’ interesting chord voicings in Pet Sounds always keep me interested throughout each song. As an artist, I know it’s totally influenced my orchestration. For that matter, I’m sure if some Four Freshmen/Beach Boy tones pop out every now and then, nobody’s gonna be surprised!”
Hudgins was also a primary creative force behind Scrapyard Lullaby, an indie-electronic pop band he co-founded and fronted with Hannah Jackson in 2010. In 2010 the Independent Music Awards nominated his song “Baby” for Best Love Song, where it won the popular vote. Hudgins has also performed under the stage name of BadFelon, during which time he honed his current sound in production.
More recently, Chris is active in the Lubbock music scene and regularly performing throughout the region. Chris also teaches music to the younger generation as a vocal/ensemble coach and songwriting teacher in the South Plains College Creative Arts Department, and collaborates with other Texas artists like hip-hop artist David Morgan (who makes appearances on the tracks “Made It” and “Life Is What You Make It.”), creative super-couple Scott and Amy Faris, singer Gigi Hess (a songwriter on “Fallin’ For You”), and country band TexWestus.
On his new forthcoming self-titled EP, due out independently in November 2022, Chris’ wife Abby and their children became a major source of inspiration behind the music, and for many of the decisions he makes as a songwriter and composer.
“This album is about love, and it was built in faith, through much struggle,” said Chris. “It’s meant to encourage you to jump wholeheartedly into who and what you love. You’ve given and tried, but keep going, because it’s not over yet.”
The EP’s first single “Buddy Hollywood” releases on October 1. The song is a soulful and melodic songwriting masterpiece, a metaphorical love song to hometowns everywhere, which Hudgins wrote in a collaboration with Lubbock-based hip-hop artist Nathan “Dubxilla” Rogers. The listener is transported into a state of a perpetual vacation with its beautiful mix of styles, and a musical reassurance that everything will inevitably be alright!
“If my music helps someone reconcile with a friend or power through hump day joyfully, I get to be part of the solution,” Hudgins concluded.