John Shough & Ultra Vega
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John Shough is one of pop's most talented unsung heroes. Busy recording his own material for over the years in between his countless sessions as producer/engineer at Dayton's legendary Cro-Magnon Studios, John has created a treasure trove of exquisitely produced musical gems. He has worked with an impressive roster of some of Ohio's pre-eminent musical talent over the decades, including such acts as ROBERT POLLARD & GUIDED BY VOICES, SHRUG, THE BREEDERS, THE MULCHMEN, THE OXYMORONS and many, many more. Shough released two albums on the Big Beef Records label with his band Ultra Vega, and has since gone on to release a host of more great material via his Bandcamp page.
"John's music made my top ten list of the year. "So Very" is one of my all time favorite songs. It's Big Star meets Bee Gees meets Cheap Trick. John has the soul and edge of the 60's weaving through his songs; well crafted, great melodies, tight harmonies, power pop rock. I love it."
- TOBIN SPROUT
John Shough's debut CD release. Features 20 pop rock gems, including the great "Hens Gone Wrong", the power rock of "Ejecti Nova Speed", the beautiful soaring closer "So Very" and much more. You can hear Shough's years of production experience shining through with these elegantly crafted works.
"A very enjoyable album that reveals more layers with each playing." - POPMATTERS
"Done In Taurus"
The long-awaited follow up release to John's debut CD, this double-album collection spans the range and breadth of John's tremendous songwriting skills, replete with lush pop arrangements, delivered with an unpretentious sonic beauty that makes you feel good about listening to music. Cover art created for the album by GBV's Robert Pollard.
"Shough is not only his own man, but also a first rate songwriter."
"John Shough is the heart of Dayton rock. From the Breeders to Guided By Voices to The Mulchmen, producer/engineer Shough has been involved with all of them in one capacity or another. Now he adds the title of solo artist to his hyphenate, and Ultra Vega, his debut album, is a gem...."So Very", a sublime piece of pop that could easily pass for a lost George Harrison song. Shough wasn't blessed with the strongest voice in the world, but he can harmonize with the best of them. He has an uncanny knack for melody, and that, combined with his left-field arrangements, make "Ultra Vega" a very enjoyable album that reveals more layers with each playing. For a guy who's spent his entire career up to this point on the other side of the mixing board, Shough makes a hell of a splash on his debut, which shows smarts, versatility, immeasurable skill and untold promise."
"Shough's music is squarely in the vein of modern power pop rock bands with sixties mod influences, complete with exceptional melodies and vocal harmonies that pack an energetic punch. The CD is stacked high with 20 strong tracks that should leave you repeatedly satisfied."
"I've got to hand it to Dayton, Ohio's tiny Big Beef Records. They keep sending me stuff, and even though the label's roster is comprised of bands in different genres, it's always good. This includes John Shough...Shough's stuff is indie pop, but not overproduced despite his production background. With pianos, electric pianos, accordions, acoustic guitars, slide guitar, and Hammond B-3s, this isn't gonna rock anyone's socks off, but man, is it good. You can hear little bits of acts like Robyn Hitchcock, XTC, the dB's, and Matthew Sweet in this, if that helps give you a reference. While Shough hasn't the strongest voice in the world, the material and arrangements here are simply wonderful. Buy buy buy!"
- INK 19
"John Shough is somewhat of legend in Dayton, Ohio. His reputation as being one of the most recognized producers is common knowledge in the music business. Well, it is in Dayton anyway. Big Beef Records takes its time in selecting the right artists to represent their label. Since the label doesn't release a lot of music during the course of a year, it has to be just right. This release continues to uphold that belief. "Ultra Vega" is a collection of twenty pop-rock-alternative nuggets that will remind you of some the great groups of the sixties. I could hear similarities with John Lennon's voice on many occasions during the run of this extra long disc. Shough is a talent to be reckoned with. This is power pop that packs punch. With a touch of cynicism and the oddities of life mixed in for good measure, this CD is a great package of music just waiting to be opened."
- MUSIC DISH
"With 20 bouncing, vivacious tracks recorded in the wee hours at Cro-Magnon, Shough proves he's more than just a top-notch technician -- he's a gifted songwriter. There are no rotten apples here: Every song reverberates with subtle hooks and luscious melodies. One of the best is "Gone Fishing," which rocks with a '60s groove, although its production gives it a feel reminiscent of XTC's Dukes of Stratosphear. An intelligent album that will make musicians and fans take notice."
- ALL MUSIC GUIDE