Bass Guitar / Vocalist
On June 19th of 2020 Hugh "Tuff" Blanton lost his battle with Cancer. Hugh was a founding member and Bass Guitar extraordinaire with Cat5. His memory will live on with Cat5 of which he will be forever a member of.
Hugh “Tuff” Blanton is a longtime resident of Charlotte, NC where he grew up and still lives. He started playing guitar at 8 yrs. old learning from his dad who had his own Country band and his mom who sang and played as well. At the age of 9 he played in the Battle of the Bands at the Park Center in Charlotte with the first band he ever played with, The Batrons, where they placed 2nd in the contest.
He started playing drums in his Dad’s country band (The Starlighters) at 17 and moved on to bass shortly there after and began playing full time straight out of high school. He played with groups around the Carolina’s such as Caesar, Foxfire, Cracker and other various bands and also played Jazz Charlotte with Jazz Guitarist David Caudle. He was a original member of The Entertainers and moved on from there to play with The Breeze Band with whom he won Song of the Year and Broadcast Song of the Year at The Cammy Awards, and then toured all over the country with Unknown Hinson. After coming off tour with Unknown Hinson Hugh played 4 ½ years with The Embers and left to become a member of Jim Quick and Coastline where he won Instrumentalist of the Year at the 2017 Cammy Awards. While touring with a few different bands from 2003-2014, he continued to play every Tuesday night when he wasn’t on the road, with a all-star lineup put together by Bobby Donaldson (guitar) called FairPlay, which went on for 11 years in Charlotte NC. He is now happy to call Cat5 Band his home and is excited about the future with this awesome bunch of musicians! .
Hugh has also played on many recordings with various bands, singers, and projects, from all over the southeast. He is currently active, doing session work with different artists and bands when he isn't on the road with the Cat5 Band.