Cliff Hines is one of the leading voices in progressive music in New Orleans. His compositions defy categorization and seamlessly blend genres to create his own unique sound. His mastery over electronics allows him to manipulate his guitar in creative ways, also lending to his identifiable style. Despite his young age, he has been performing in New Orleans for over 15 years (since landing a weekly gig at the Funky Butt at age 12) and has over 10 years of teaching experience. He has toured nationally and internationally both with his own band and as a sideman for such artists as Rickie Lee Jones, Christian Scott, Mike Dillon, Sasha Masakowski, Gravity A, Khris Royal, and Aurora Nealand.
Hines's first two records as a bandleader were released under his own name. Like Mystics of Old featured a fusion of electronic experimentation with pop sensibility. One song from that record, "Pastels", earned lots of attention online for a live performance art music video in which the band functions as a blank canvas that is turned into a "living painting." Cliff's sophomore release, Wanderlust, draws more influence from folk and world music in combination with subtle electronics to create cinematic electro-acoustic soundscapes. "Dresden" had the lone music video from that record, an dark animated piece by Tahnee Gehm, which was showcased at various film festivals in Europe. Another song from that record, "Interzone", would later be covered by Jason Marsalis for his 2014 album 21st Century Trad Band (Basin St Records)
In 2015, he and longtime collaborator Sasha Masakowski released the debut album for their new band, Hildegard, which was their first album to feature original songs from both composers. They are currently working on releasing a follow-up EP. Cliff also just released the debut EP for his electronic solo project KLYPH on May 25th 2018. In addition to these projects, he also has an improvised electronic rock project with Hildegard drummer G Maxwell Zemanovic entitled the HZ Duo which has released several live bootlegs and will soon release their debut album.
Cliff gained some local notoriety for a series of Tribute shows he did in 2010 & 2011 (Bowie, Prince, and Radiohead respectively) which featured an all-star cast of musicians from the various New Orleans music scenes. In 2014 he was asked by Gravity A to play the role of David Byrne for a Talking Heads Tribute. Their Talking Heads Tribute was very well received, with many saying Hines's frenetic energy was the best imitation of Byrne they had seen. Gravity A and Hines would later pay tribute to Pink Floyd's 1977 album "Animals". These performances helped many see him not only as a sideman and guitarist but a solid frontman as well leading to nominations in 2016 for both Best Male Performer (Big Easy Awards / Gambit Weekly) and Best Guitarist (Best of the Beat / Offbeat Magazine)
During 2016 and 2017, Hines and local talent buyer Kali Serna took over booking for the Progression Music Series (started by Sasha Masakowski and Ian Painter in 2013) which was a weekly series that showcased up and coming New Orleans bands that were breaking the mold and creating new sounds. He now teaches Digital Music Production at The University of New Orleans. He was previously the guitar instructor at New Orleans Center of the Creative arts, a music instructor at local schools Isidore Newman School and Lusher, and was an Artist in Residence at the Contemporary Center of the Arts.