When Kelly Hughes puts on a show, he might invite a few surprise guests to join him on the stage.
“One year, a little girl barely taller than the stage itself came up to him between songs and said, ‘Kelly, will you play such-and-such a song?’” said Chris Guggemos of Handshake Productions. “Kelly said, ‘Dear, if you’ll come up here and sit on this stage, I’ll play that song.’”
Guggemos, who has worked with Hughes for many years, said that compassion for people shines through in his performances with the Kelly Hughes Band.
“He’s just a genuinely nice guy who loves and cares about people,” Guggemos said. “That’s why people come to see him.”
Hughes also knows how to entertain, Guggemos said.
"When you go watch Kelly, there’s not a lot of downtime between songs,” he said. "He ends one song and within seconds he’s playing another song. That just keeps the audience's attention. And when he does talk to the crowd, he’s a very humorous man."
Hughes' combination of comedy, compassion and showmanship make him a natural choice to perform Sunday during the Coeur d'Alene City Park Free Concert Series show. This concert is especially meaningful because it will also serve as a fundraiser for Guggemos, who is being treated for cancer. Guggemos will be selling his newly released original album, "One Short of A Dozen," to help offset medical expenses and lost income/Devin Heilman, Coeur d'Alene Press. More here.