|Dana Hubbard was the best
performer at the recent Tucson Folk Festival. I was knocked out by his
guitar playing and vocal delivery. He tunes his vintage acoustic guitar
down from E to C# (a minor third), resulting in powerful bass,
amplified with a custom pickup configurations.
On "The Grounds Keepers," just released, Hubbard opens with loose, spacious guitar styling and powerful singing. The entire recording is clear and transparent. He is a confident solo artist: singer, player, songwriter.
He has a rich bass voice that ranges up to bright, high baritone. Occasional harmony overdubs aren't as effective as Hubbard's solo singing. There's also a bit of harmonica, for occasional accent.
I can't easily tell when he's using open tuning versus conventional guitar tuning, because his fingering, slide work, and pluck-strumming are constantly changing in an inventive way. He can make one guitar sound overdubbed!
Most of the tracks on "The Grounds Keepers" are variations on I-IV-V blues chord progressions, without being conventional or static. These are *original* singer-songwriter selections. Complaint: ten tracks are too few, Dana. Give us more, please — for musical value, not just $$ value.
Thematically, his lyrics are biased toward political outrage and social indictment. Hubbard is a storyteller who makes his point without ramming it into the listener's brain cells. Music is always foremost; this isn't a polemic.
Dana Hubbard is a terrific live performer, and a very good recording artist. Either way, it's worth hearing him just for the guitar playing, so his vocals are a bonus. Double-thumb picking style is his foundation. Two favorites are "Woody's Guitar," the first song, and "Time Twister," an instrumental that is the final track on "The Grounds Keepers."
Seek out Dana Hubbard and his music. Tell him Nemo sent you.
07/23/08 -Sutherlin, OR.
by Diane Clerihue-Smith /
Column: "from the Girl on Grapes"
|"The mic and
musical gear were all set up, ready to go and we arrived just a
few minutes before the amazing Dana Hubbard got started. I do not have enough
space here to adequately sing the praises of Dana Hubbard in the way he
deserves (that would be an entire column) so suffice it to say he is a very
talented guitar and harmonica player and singer /songwriter. His gift is
apparent and he knows how to share it beautifully with a crowd."
[full article below]
Wineries are more then a place to make and taste wine. And for me
it is not just the great wine that makes me happy, but all the
beautiful experiences that become available when wineries abound.
As I mentioned in an earlier column, wineries are a terrific place
to spend an afternoon picnicking. They can offer a superb venue for
spending time appreciating the arts too. Wineries often host different
events such as concerts or art exhibits that seem to pair splendidly
with not only wine, but with the beauty of the vineyards. Some times
these events are restricted to the host wineries’ wine club members,
but often are open to the general public. A well planned event at a
beautiful winery with terrific wine, friendly upbeat winery owners
hosting, and delicious food is an evening not soon forgotten. It can
even turn magical! My husband and I had just that kind of experience
This magical event occurred Saturday night at MarshAnne Landing Winery.
I have already mentioned MarshAnne Landing Winery in this column as a
stellar place to picnic and about their excellent wines so it makes
sense they would also be the perfect setting for the event we attended
last weekend. Their beautiful tasting room with hand crafted quilts,
stained glass and other art adorning the walls looked as lovely as ever
and the french doors to the patio were open bringing the stunning pastoral
and vineyard view inside. Their were tables of finger food, very well
presented and very tasty indeed. About 40 or so people were sitting
out on the deck with plates of food and glasses of wine, chatting and
enjoying the view. The mic and musical gear were all set up, ready to
go and we arrived just a few minutes before the amazing Dana Hubbard
got started. I do not have enough space here to adequately sing the
praises of Dana Hubbard in the way he deserves (that would be an entire column)
so suffice it to say he is a very talented guitar and harmonica
player and singer /songwriter. His gift is apparent and he knows
how to share it beautifully with a crowd. Dana’s talent, the setting,
the view, the food, the lovely wine, and the other guests made a
terrific combination. Adding to that, Greg and Fran, owners of
MarshAnne Landing were ideal hosts. Fran with her easy going,
easy to smile way and Greg with his intensity and passion for
life and all things beautiful, added the playful, “enjoy life
and don’t take it too seriously”, component that took the evening
from wonderful to magical!
We are a small budding wine region with our just twenty wineries.
Most of our wineries are very small and many just getting started.
So wine events like this one are not always abundant. But they are
out there. The same evening we had this magical event at MarshAnne
Landing, Reustle Prayer Rock Vineyards hosted a musical event of
their own at their beautiful winery. Having two events of this
caliber to choose from suggests there are many magical times
available for all of us living or visiting our beloved area.
If you are lucky enough to live here, take advantage of the magic!