Annie Hughes was born and raised in Tempe, Arizona, and now resides in Colorado. She followed the well trod path to music through church and school choirs, along the way picking up a guitar for the first time during a sleepover at a friend’s house. She played it relentlessly and at some point acquired a guitar of her own to play endlessly in her room.
Today’s song from Annie Hughes tells a story of lost children, and the unbearable pain of a parent in that situation. Annie told Americana UK about the song, where it came from and what it means to her: “Lucinda is a song I wish I didn’t have to write. Our daughter was visiting us and found a tiny kitten in an outbuilding at the ranch we were living on. The kitten was so starved, she meowed once and collapsed with her four small legs splayed out on the ground around her, We fed her goat milk and canned tuna and I adopted her and named her Lucinda. She disappeared, as ranch cats often do and I was heartsick. One day, I thought I saw her running across the road in front of me. She disappeared into a field and the line “Still Looking for Lucinda,” came into my head.
I have a longtime friend, whose girlfriend was abducted and murdered years ago and my heart has always ached for him. Our daughter went missing for a, thankfully, brief time. There had been so many abductions and murders of young women and trans people in the news, both on reservations and elsewhere. I had to write the song.
The backup singers are meant to be the loved ones trying to care for, support, and reason with the person who has lost their child. The yodel toward the end is a reinterpretation of the mourning dove songs that I head growing up in Arizona. The woop woop sounds at the very end I thought of as night hawks aiding in the search. The graphic designer, Diana Bigby, heard those as butterfly wings beating with the butterflies representing Lucinda’s people.
My dearest, oldest friend, who lost an adult child a couple of years ago, wrote me that ‘Lucinda’ brought comfort to her. I didn’t want to have to write this song but now I’m glad that I did.”
The song and its presentation is something of a family affair with Annie Hughes on lead vocal, background vocals, acoustic guitar, Pat Hubbard (Annie’s husband) on mandolin and harmonium, David Martinez (Annie’s son-in-law) on bass and background vocals and Erin Rose Hubbard (Annie & Pat’s daughter) on drums and background vocals.
Diana Bigby produced the graphic art, and is the daughter of Cheryl Horn, who is an activist for missing and murdered indigenous persons – you can find a video about Cheryl and her work here..
Heartfelt sentiment with just the right music to accompany.
Thank you for your kind words, Marian!