In an alternate universe, all country-rock is this vital and satisfying. - Oklahoma Gazette
These are the songs that make you want to crank the volume and go for a drive. Just don’t set the iPod on repeat or you may never come back. - Twangville.com
Syrup-on-hot-oatmeal nice. If you’re planning a trip to the heartland, keep an eye out for one of their shows – they look to be awfully rejuvenating. – San Diego Entertainer
Dan brings a feel good, in your face, rocking acoustic sound straight from the fields and highways that dominate the landscape of central Illinois. - Illinois Times
Don’t let “The Love Show” pass you by. The music is only shown up by the lyrics. – Katie Darby Recommends
Nothing flashy here, just good American rock and roll. - Dagger Zine
The match of light fun music that also describes dark events is completely inappropriate while simultaneously perfect. - Secret Note
This one's (The Love Show) worth seeking out - In Tune Magazine
a no-nonsense group that is a perfect compliment in a time in history that’s full of nonsense. - This is Book's Music
Should be called "the Human Doors," because this Americana heartland grown folks rock n roll band swung my soul wide open! - Roctober Magazine
There are several songs about people coping with life’s challenges on The Love Show, the latest collection of well-crafted Midwestern rock from Dan Hubbard & The Humadors. A husband consoles his wife about their economic woes on the acoustic “We’ll Be Fine,” while the guy in the rocking “Beautiful Bar” finds relief in a few beers. “Don’t Take Me Now” and “All I Want Is You” are prime examples of Hubbard’s gift for creating engaging love songs. - Illinois Entertainer
Dan Hubbard’s approach is unadulterated roots rock without all the showy excess of today’s major label acts. - Power Popaholic
We can identify with his lyrics, we move to his beat, and we’re glad to see that rock music is in good hands with Dan Hubbard and The Humadors! -Frank C. Etier (BlogCritics)
No hyphens or hype, invented categories or inverted genres, just a guy writing good songs with a fine band backing him up. -Illinois Times
I find Hubbard's songs working their way into my subconscious and showing up in my head unexpectedly in bright moments of harmony. This is See You Again's greatest strength — it stays with you. -Annie Weisner (SmilePolitely.com)
The professionalism and masterhood of Dan Hubbard is without any doubt present in this new album (See You Again). -Rootstime.be
This eponymous debut blends folk, country, blues, soul and funk with classic singer/songwriter hooks to startling effect. Heavily indebted to legendary artists Tom Petty, Jackson Browne, Van Morrison and Neil Young, Hubbard ranks alongside the likes of Ryan Adams as one of the finest contemporary country-rock front men. –R2 Magazine
Dan Hubbard and the Humadors is a truly exceptional album that needs to be heard! The atmosphere is right and makes me long for Gruene Hall again, and the many gigs I saw there that sounded just like this album. –Mr. Blue Boogie (5 out of 5 stars)
The music makes me happy, something breathing the Hollies and the Kinks and melodic rock. My walk into this album has only just begun, something in there is calling me. –Frank Ostergren, Rootsy.nu
Dan Hubbard And The Humadors exude a workingman’s sensibility on a self-titled CD filled with easy-going rock songs about finding love and a purpose in life. Hubbard’s expressive vocals are appealing, and having three back-up vocalists results in some impressive harmonies. “You’re All I Need” provides some Buddy Holly-type fun and “Run For Our Lives” has a melodic country & western arrangement. –Illinois Entertainer
As far as vocalists go, my personal voice hero is Gary Louris from the Jayhawks. The hand of God has touched that soul and there are a few times I hear the essence of Gary coming through on the vocal tracks. In terms of singing, this is the highest compliment I know to give. –Openingbands.com
The Web-site bio of Dan Hubbard & the Humadors says the band builds its music on “the classic sounds of Tom Petty, Van Morrison, Neil Young, and Jackson Browne.” That’s a pretty common set of influences, and one that has produced plenty of earnest but dull music in the hands of less-skilled singers/songwriters.
But with Hubbard and his band – playing their first headlining gig in the Quad Cities on February 8 at Rozz-Tox – those forebears mostly hint at an unpretentious, straightforward, gimmick-free, and song-based style. And when the hooks are plentiful and the arrangements are thoughtful and performed with vigor – as they usually are – the guys pull it off.
The first song on 2011’s The Love Show is a warm slice of lovelorn Americana, a bit on the generic side but sterling in its singing and performance – with an understated but catchy guitar lead, a chugging rhythm section, and harmonica accents. “You’re all I have to lose,” Hubbard sings without emphasizing the desperation of the lyric, thus giving it an odd dimension of confidence.
Vocally, Hubbard’s sturdy if not particularly distinctive voice can recall Chris Isaak’s, and other times it has its own convincing character, particularly when he employs a slight, unshowy vibrato. The album is a mix of ballads and upbeat rockers, and the slower songs sometimes suffer from a heartfelt vagueness in the lyrics. But even those lesser tracks have plenty of bright spots in the details, such as the casually deft guitar solo of “Darkness on the Loose” – loaded with more emotional depth than the words – and the opening verse of “This Is Your Life,” an absurdist counterpoint to the standard-issue piano lead: “Woke up this morning on the wrong side of the bed / My fever on my pillow / My socks were on my head.”
Based in Bloomington-Normal, Illinois, Hubbard has released six albums since 2003, and music has been his full-time job since his graduation from Illinois State University in 2007. “It’s kind of a deal I made with my parents,” Hubbard said in a phone interview January 25, “that I would get a degree and get a backup plan before I moved forward with my music career.” When I asked what the backup plan is, he laughed and said, “There isn’t one.”
Hubbard said he’s finishing a solo record for fall release, and while he and the band have done some touring outside of the Midwest, for now they’re focusing on markets within a three-hour drive of their home base. “When we’re doing everything ourselves, it’s kind of unrealistic to build in those markets across the country, because it’s just hard to get back to [them] on a consistent basis,” he said.
One of those target markets is the Quad Cities. While Hubbard and his band have in the past had shorter support gigs in the area – at the Redstone Room and the 2011 River Roots Live festival – the Rozz-Tox show, both because of the set length and the intimacy of the venue, will give audiences a different side of the band.
The concert will likely be skewed in favor of quieter songs, and “in a more personal setting like that, I like to talk about the songs, talk about where they came from, kind of connect with the audience in that way,” Hubbard said.
But don’t expect him to reveal secrets of songwriting, which he said remain a bit mysterious to even him. That’s “one of the reasons I feel I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing,” he said, “because I’ve found something I can’t explain. It’s just there.”
Dan Hubbard & the Humadors will perform on Friday, February 8, at Rozz-Tox (2108 Third Avenue, Rock Island; RozzTox.com). The show starts at 9 p.m. and also features Mo Carter of Busted Chandeliers. Admission is $5
There are several songs about people coping with life’s challenges on The Love Show, the latest collection of well-crafted Midwestern rock from Dan Hubbard & The Humadors. A husband consoles his wife about their economic woes on the acoustic “We’ll Be Fine,” while the guy in the rocking “Beautiful Bar” finds relief in a few beers. “Don’t Take Me Now” and “All I Want Is You” are prime examples of Hubbard’s gift for creating engaging love songs. – Terrence Flamm
Midwestern dude who has been around for nearly a decade. This is record #6 and he and his bunch whip up some nice Americana tunes with some occasional bursts into honky tonk. Nothing flashy here, just good American rock and roll. www.danhubbard.net
Last Friday we were finally getting a reprieve from the record breaking temperatures in Chicago. The mainstream media had been reporting the death of pop star Amy Winehouse in typical fashion with equal parts reverence and deprecation. This day also saw the attacks of the Oslo terrorist Anders Breivik who first killed 8 with a localized bomb and then opened fire on a children’s camp dressed as a police officer bringing the number of total victims to 75. Breivik supposedly intended his actions to be a protest to the spread of Islam and its followers in Westerns Europe. Breivik saw this spread as a threat to the traditional population and hoped his actions would inspire a European revolution.
Amidst all these events, Dan Hubbard and the Humadors drove into Chicago to give our weary souls a moment away from the world outside. The band is currently on the road in support of their recent release The Love Show. On a day which reminds us all of our immortality there are always performers out there to take us away from our personal struggles and also bring us together as a community.
It was also on this evening my longtime companion, and Labrador/Boxer mix, Marco had a flare up of his Addison’s disease. So instead of enjoying the band’s set I found myself sitting in the waiting room of a veterinary hospital. While staring at the linoleum floor and florescent lighting I began to give Dan Hubbard’s album another listen. As the album played I began to remember the many years and changes which have happened with Marco as the primary constant in my life.
There’s something perfect about roots music in our lowest times. It has the ability to make you tap your foot while also thinking over your troubles. Dan Hubbard’s music keeps true to this rule. The music at first listen has a fun appeal varying from radio friendly contemporary rock to dirty blues and folk while maintaining a country sensibility.
If you have a close relationship with your pets, you’ll know similar to the music in your life, their existence acts as an index of your travels. By thinking of Marco at different ages I can easily be transported to any time in my adult life just as easily as I can tell you the first time I discovered my father’s Led Zeppelin albums.
Songs such as “This Is Your Life” allow Dan to recount in detail stories of his life concluding simply, “Sometimes you never know” and in later songs mentions “We’ll Be Fine. We’ll keep trying. We don’t have any other choice.” Sitting in my sterile environment these words never rang so true. The world is unpredictable and while we always hope for the best, we prepare for the worst. One of our staff writers Steve Z. would describe Dan Hubbard’s sensibility as “Ate up.” Meaning the match of light fun music that also describes dark events is completely inappropriate while simultaneously perfect.
In the end, Marco gained a full recovery while still having to take his daily medication. The vet theorized his vomiting and bleeding were simply his body’s reaction and inability to cope in stressful situations. In many ways I wish I could have communicated to him the band’s message placing the headphones over his ears repeating it’s going to be okay buddy just listen to Dan’s words. From the chatter I heard later the band had a great performance and rest assured the next time they roll into town Secret Note will be the first in line. -Ben
There are a lot of people who prefer their rock’n'roll to be basic, straight and direct, and to the point. Nothing too ruthless, nothing too bombastic, just something that you can grab a beer to, rock out with your socks out, and have a good time. Dan Hubbard & The Humadors are that band who bring out what may sound basic today, but that “back to basics” approach is what made a lot of 70′s and 80′s rock so good and at times, great. The Love Show (self-released) shows what’s missing in much of what is today’s excuse for rock: emotion, depth, and musicality. I’m tired of hearing songs that are blatant attempts that trying to be someone else’s commercial endorsement. Yeah, take the cash for all that its worth, but don’t sacrifice making music because you’re capable. Go beyond your capabilities and take things to a decent level. This is what Dan Hubbard & The Humadors have done, a no-nonsense group that is a perfect compliment in a time in history that’s full of nonsense. The subtle country touches are nice too.
It wasn’t that long ago when someone asked me “Why doesn’t anyone make Rock n’ Roll” anymore?” Like many folks, he quit looking for new music after he graduated college, and was now trying to search the radio for new Rock n’ Roll. If he asked that today, I would give him a copy of Dan Hubbard and the Humadors new release, The Love Show, and end his search. This Central Illinois based band, serves up Rock with hooks that latch on from the opener “Don’t Take Me Now” and never let go.
Dan Hubbard gets it, Rock and Roll is best when it is uncomplicated. There are no gimmicks or pretenses found on The Love Show, just really great melodies. These are the songs that make you want to crank the volume and go for a drive. Just don’t set the iPod on repeat or you may never come back.
As a songwriter, Hubbard follows a similar uncomplicated formula. Guess what indie rockers! You don’t have to be an art school student on anti-depressants to write lyrics. Hubbard has a troubadour’s gift, creating songs that balance life’s tough times with hope and healing. On “This is Your Life” Hubbard sings, “Life isn’t fair and that’s Ok. It’s crazy how much things can change before you even realize. This is your life. Yeah, there’s some things you can’t control. Yeah, sometimes you have to let go. Yeah, everything is gonna be fine. We’re doin’ alright baby.” What is wrong with plain spoken wisdom?
Dan Hubbard has been making music out of Normal, Illinois for the better part of a decade. He’s toured on both coasts, and is about to self-release The Love Show, which comes out on May 24th. Don’t let this record pass you by; this is the first true “summer” record I’ve heard this year. The music is only shown up by the lyrics.
Danhubbard-thelasttimeyouseeme by Katie Darby Recommends
“The Last Time You See Me” is a great lead-off single; there’s a frenetic energy, especially in the guitar. The song is about dealing with the frustration of a musician lifestyle; the traveling, the work with no reward or promise of security. And really, so much of being a musician or a writer is about self-sacrifice; trying to subtract yourself from your work, trying to give up the rock star dreams and make peace with a real ‘rock’ life.
Of course, the trick is Hubbard says–
Damn van won’t start
Played to an empty bar
All I want to do is pack up and come home to you
Get a real job
Make some money
Buy a house and never leave for anybody
But I can’t
I know you won’t let me let go
It’s just one of those days where the end feels pretty close
But it’s so catchy and up-tempo that it’s easy, as a listener, to bob along and hum the melody without picking up on the inherent frustration. A song like this is a perfect single for this album: Hubbard seems to be writing, mostly, songs about being hopeful towards the future and trying to infuse them with the classic rock sound of the late 70′s. “This Might Be the Last Time You See Me” exemplifies that perfectly.
Though Hubbard is obviously creating characters in songs like “Beautiful Bar,” it’s easy to feel like you’re having a conversation with him. The harmonica and guitar create a warm sound, and then he starts–
Sorry I’m late
I was busy being somebody else
They locked me away
Stole my name
I don’t feel very well
I know this sounds strange
But I believe this is what’s best for my health…
I’m going to be myself
Whether the songs are personal or not, they all seem that way; it’s like talking to a new friend. The other outstanding thing about this track is the guitar work; Hubbard’s lead guitarist, Kyle Yap, is ludicrously talented. He gets a really cool sound out of each song, and he’s able to solo tastefully (sort of a difficult feat, ha).
Initially, my favorite song is “This Is Your Life,” which has a really cool Seger sound (probably because of the really delicate keyboard work). It’s a neat song about being out of place in your own life, which is underscored with the chorus– “Surprise, this is your life.” He talks about all the people you meet who have perfectly laid out plans and how they never work. It’s a familiar story, and maybe because we all know these people– but Hubbard has enough of a new take on it that it works.
Saw my first curve ball at 9-years-old
It buckled my knees, it rattled my soul
A shy dreamer turned a high school star
Became a quitter and a cheat singing in the bars
An alcoholic who got tired of being sad
Saved by love, just became a dad
Driving down the road under the crazy sky
There’s nothing else to say, it’s good to be alive
It’s, of course, trite to say “all you need is love,” anymore, but the way Hubbard says it, it feels full of truth. And maybe that’s because my stepdaughter has come into my life and I see how being a parent changes you; and maybe it’s because, unlike most rock music out there, Hubbard is writing from the perspective of being tired of being sad, which I love.
The Love Show is all about overcoming and getting away from being sad, and it feels like a perfect “coming out of winter” record. There are all sorts of cool, special moments on the record– the guitar flourishes in “Heartbeat” give it an almost Dire Straits feel, and there’s all sorts of honky-tonk atmosphere on songs like “Stay Away,” which gives the record a really whole, full feeling. There are a lot of songs that sound different from each other, but together they create a really solid record. (There are also indulgent moments: the first track, “Zoe Intro”, appears to be Hubbard’s daughter introducing the record. It’s adorable, but I was certainly not expecting it.)
Perhaps the best example of how Hubbard can shift personalities is the second the last track on the record, “All I Want Is You,” which has a distinctly Jackson Browne feel to it. The guitar work is so delicate, the song is so gentle– and it’s really moving. Hubbard has a way of being both very rock ‘n roll and very sensitive. The record is better because he can do both– sometimes int the same track.
I was pleasantly surprised by The Love Show. I expected it to be good after hearing the first single– but it’s a great record, and one I’m sure I’ll be listening to all summer.