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  Matt Hughes began playing the guitar at age 15 and is a self-taught musician.  Throughout his music career he learned to play several instruments including electric and acoustic guitar, drums, bodhran, and bass guitar.

  During his high school and college years he became interested in metal music and was inspired by several metal groups, i.e. Metallica, Iron Maiden, KISS, Slayer, Overkill, Exodus, Testament, and Judas Priest.

  Matt was first introduced to Celtic music in 1995 when he purchased a Clancy Brothers CD. In 2001, while at a pub during a Wild Geese show, Matt was fascinated with the band's performance and followed them around Pittsburgh whenever he could until they broke up in 2005.

  One night while attending a party at a friend's house, Matt was invited by Luci Lynn to play guitar with her. They played the only Irish song he knew at the time, Back Home in Derry. The song was well-received by the crowd. He then began studying Celtic music in earnest.  Matt's love for Celtic music was influenced by several bands and musicians i.e. The Wild Geese Band, The Brobdingnagian Bards, The Bilge Pumps, Corsairs, The Jolly Rogers, and Michael Murphy and the Shannon River Band.

  During the winter of 2005, Matt and his friend Paul Giampaolo met regularly to play Irish music. Shortly after that they began to discuss a new music project and before long, MetalKelt was born. Matt handled guitar, bass, drums and vocal duties for the band pouring all of his creative energy into his first CD which was highly influenced by his love for metal music. It was at this time that Matt began writing songs in the Celtic Folk Genre.

  After the release of Fusing Tradition, MetalKelt's debut CD, Matt decided it was time to expand his repertoire and began focusing on acoustic songs. He started looking around for shows and played at Paddy's Pour House in March of 2007. About a month later he formed Ar Eigean Gael, an acoustic folk rock band.