Big things happening this weekend in the world of Ear Nuggets, with one of the events happening right in the Big Apple. Mike Hubbard and his band will yet again grace the stage of one of Manhattan’s more legendary small venues, The Mercury Lounge on Friday night.
The singer-songwriter and talented multi-instrumentalist from rural Berks County, Pennsylvania (about 90 miles outside of Philadelphia) has been one of the lower east sides biggest up and comers for the last several months, playing a number of shows at both The Mercury Lounge and nearby Pianos. Hubbard (keys, guitar, vocals) will lead his band, made up of Eric Messihi on bass and vocals, Ian Grey on guitar, and drummer Patrick Moses, through original tunes from his first self-titled EP and will surely be sprinkling in upcoming songs from his unreleased album due out later this year.
Mike sent me a few unmastered tracks off of his upcoming full-length album and I can say without hesitation that this guy is really growing into himself as an artist. Hubbard’s first studio effort showed his more conservative side, likely a result of his time at Berklee College of Music in Boston, but spending a few years gigging in New York clubs and venues hardens any musician and is bound to inspire new sounds and encourage taking more risks. That’s exactly what Hubbard has been doing lately, and it’s been paying off.
Look out for tracks like “Wheels Fall Off,” and “Longview Drive,” (the latter an ode to the street he grew up on) in which we hear a more concrete voice crooning from experiences of growing up and adapting to a new, dare we say “adult” life in the city. Mike’s incredible knack for songwriting reaches out from every song, forcing the listener to stop what they’re doing, and pay attention dammit. His writing ability must certainly be a result of his education under Berklee professors like Pat Pattison, whose other students include the likes of Ear Nuggets favorite Liz Longley, and a guy you may of heard of, a little known musician, John Mayer.
But Hubbard is not Mayer. Not for lack of talent, mind you, rather, because Hubbard will not be the “next” anyone. With songs like “Cultural Capital,” and “Caesar,” (and other songs brought to you by the letter ‘C’) he’s proven he’s not really following anyone’s footsteps. Sure, he has influences. Who doesn’t? But Mike Hubbard has enough originality, creativity, artistry and musical talent that he’ll stand out just being himself and writing songs like “Soldiers,” a crowd favorite, every time. Although really, even though many of his songs can hit on an emotional level, a Mike Hubbard performance is anything but serious business. No one has more fun than Mike, and he combines his charismatic smile with a little humor and a little banter to try to remind those in attendance not to take themselves too seriously either.
Check out more of Hubbard’s music over at his website, michaelhubbardmusic.com, follow him on twitter, and read up on his bandmates over at his facebook. Tickets are still available for Friday night at the Mercury Lounge right here, and fellas, don’t say I didn’t warn you: Hubbard’s falsetto could lose you your woman.