Jim McHugh

Jim McHugh

From the farney drumlins of Monaghan, Ireland, multi-instrumentalist Jim McHugh brings a new edge to the folk tradition blending traditional and indie styles with up-tempo beats. In 2016 he drew upon his past and recent musical experiences to record an album of new songs entitled ‘Noise Machine’; ‘indie folk driven rock that has a vibrant beating heart, Pete Whalley’.

Jim’s followed up in 2019 with his second album ‘My Nuclear Radio’.  This 11 track album includes the singles Avenue Road, Marjorie, Everything’s Cool and My Mandalay was recorded, produced and mastered in Ben Reel’s studio in South Armagh. It features Jim on Vocals/Mandolin/Electric Guitar, Paul McCabe on Bass, Butch McNeill on Drums and John McCullough on Piano/Keyboards. 

In 2020, Jim released 'Should Have Lied' securing a Hotpress Premiere for the single, receiving national and international airplay. Jim recorded a new album in 2020 with release due in mid 2021. This album was recorded in Black Mountain Studios and Wynne Wynne Studios outside of Dundalk under the careful eye of Alex Borwick. 

Praise so far

As though he is dancing on the end of a knife, McHugh has a stunning aptitude when it comes to his music as it comes across as intrinsically complicated but also the most natural and effortless thing in the world. 



My Mandalay : RTÉ RADIO 1 recommends playlist Nov/Dec 2019

                         LMFM All Out Local Song Choice March 2020 

My Nuclear Radio  Album of the week 18Sep2019 – Roddie Cleere, KCLR

Everything’s Cool  Song of the week  22Aug2018 – Roddie Cleere, KCLR


The Kinks sang about Lola, The Velvet Underground sang about Sweet Jane, and in Monaghan singer-songwriter Jim McHugh’s new single, sings about Marjorie. There’s a bit of Lou Reed in McHugh’s distinctive voice, and the infectious guitar riffs at the get go cast shades of when Dylan went electric.

Expertly crafted and nonetheless playful, McHugh advises Marjorie to ‘just let it all hang out’ and stop worrying so much. Advice we all could adhere to from time to time, and by the second or third listen, you’ll find that you have. - Noelle Ellis, Gigging NI  https://www.giggingni.com/2019/05/ni-music-summary-april-2019/


AVENUE ROAD:Listen to the Chorus. Listen to the filler electric guitar. Listen to Jim’s vocals. You really should. Its Endearing. Its delightful. Its that good time that you’d never thought could exist. It does. Jim and the gang make’s it so in the single.



Praise for ‘Noise Machine’:

‘Jim brings a new dynamic to folk music as he cleverly infuses traditional styles with an uptempo and raw indie style (even the odd ballad) that creates something very different for the Irish music scene’. -  Chantelle Frampton, Gigging NI.


‘And that’s the charm of Noise Machine, it’s uncultured, indie folk driven rock that has a vibrant beating heart.  From the driving single ‘Red Rose’, the catchy ‘River Won’t Flow’, the rootsy ‘My Destiny’ and ‘Help Her Help Me, to the almost Velvet Underground reminiscent ‘Do You Remember’, there’s a rich vein of potential coursing through the grooves of this record’. - Pete Whalley. 


‘This music clearly has deep-seated roots - cultural, musical and social - and like all music with roots, it takes many forms. There's abrasive folk rock with edge and irritation, wrenching ballads with anguish and distress. There’s personal recognition and unrestrained observation’. – Charlie Elland