The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

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August 23, 2013

Coal City singer/songwriter searches for the country spotlight

— A local 20-year-old singer/songwriter is hoping to break into the country music spotlight and she will have her chance Oct. 26.

Krista Hughes, of Coal City, will compete then in the regional Texaco Country Showdown in Hershey Park, Pa.

She’s already scored two wins to make it this far — first at the local level in June, then at the state level Aug. 16 in Parkersburg.

“I’m nervous and excited,” Hughes said. “I’m just ecstatic to have won state. Just to have the shot to go on to regionals is great.”

Hughes has been singing her entire life and she got her first guitar when she was just 4 years old.

Her grandpa, Gary Hughes, taught her some basic chords on guitar, but aside from that, she’s taught herself everything she knows about singing and songwriting.

She started songwriting when she was 15 and she’s looking forward to playing a couple of her original songs at the regional Texaco Country Showdown in October — “When You’re Drinking Whiskey” and “Hazard.”

Hughes won the local competition five years ago, but didn’t go past the state level. Now, with the state competition win already under her belt, she’s hoping to shine at regionals.

She said while everyone else was preparing for college during her senior year of high school, she was focusing on her music.

“I was trying to write as many songs as possible,” she said.

Her hard work has already paid off, as she’s been invited to sing in Florida, Georgia and even on Center Stage in Nashville.

During her performance in Nashville, Cactus Moser, the drummer for Highway 101, drummed for her, and after the show she got to meet his then girlfriend, now wife, Wynonna Judd.

Hughes said she got to hang out with Wynonna and the country star even gave her some advice for her music career.

Her parents have always been very supportive of her dreams, Hughes said, and she’s excited to see where her talent can take her.

For booking information, call 615-426-4424 or 304-763-3538 or e-mail

For more about Krista Hughes and to hear some of her performances, check her out on Facebook or visit

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