Glenn Hughes, best known for his 1973–76 tenure in Deep Purple, has returned to the stage with Classic Deep Purple Live. U.S. tour dates continue through Sept. 22 before Hughes takes the show to Europe.

In an exclusive interview, Hughes says he turned to YouTube in an effort to re-acquaint himself with the energy and towering musical prowess of that era.

“The only reason I’ve done it, for these songs, is to go back and look and listen to exactly what we were doing,” Hughes said. “I needed to go back and get the vibe, if you will. A lot of people think that I can’t get out of the '70s. No, no, no! I really don’t remember too much about that stage. [Laughs.] I’m just really getting into character and going and playing the songs, and wanting to go back and listen to and see how it sounded and take that to the stage.”

Hughes was part of Deep Purple's Mark III and IV incarnations, appearing on 1974's Burn and Stormbringer, and 1975's Come Taste the Band. His focus for this tour, however, was not on the studio recordings.

“The songs will be live arrangements from the period of time that we were playing them live. Whether it was from – I’ve got files from California Jam, files from Japan, Paris, Switzerland, L.A.," Hughes added. "I just wanted to see how the band were playing. I thought it would be a great idea to sort of encapsulate those arrangements for the stage right now.”

The reasons, he added, were personal: “For me, I’m a live entertainer. I’ve always been not one to primarily stick to three minutes of a studio version. I always like to do a little something different. Remember, these guys in Purple were virtuoso musicians. [Jon] Lord and [Ritchie] Blackmore were top of the game – so bringing these songs alive, for me playing in the style of the band at that time, was really important.”

Hughes moved on to many musical endeavors throughout his career, including collaborations with Black Sabbath guitarist Tony Iommi and Black Country Communion, a supergroup formed with Jason Bonham and Joe Bonamassa. Still, his enthusiasm for Deep Purple has never waned.

“I just lose myself in the music,” he said. “It’s part of my heritage, a huge part of my heritage, and to bring these songs - I call it bringing them alive, because some of these songs haven’t been played in a long time.”

As for YouTube, the singer has taken an "if you can't beat them, join them" approach. He is recording many of the performances during this tour, then making them available for fans to download. “I’ve always enjoyed recording,” Hughes said. “And, as you know, people bloody record the shows anyway and put it on YouTube. So, I just figured I’d record it myself and make it available for those who want to take a copy home with them.”

Classic Deep Purple Live U.S. Dates

Sept. 11 - Chance Theater, Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
Sept. 13 - Arcada Theatre, Saint Charles, Ill.
Sept. 15 - The Token Lounge, Westland, Mich.
Sept. 16 - House of Blues, Cleveland, Ohio
Sept. 18 - Tupelo Music Hall, Derry, N.H.
Sept. 19 - The Wilbur, Boston, Mass.
Sept. 21 - Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel, Providence, R.I.
Sept. 22 - Tarrytown Music Hall, Tarrytown, N.Y.