Well it’s been over two years in the making -and three years since I’ve put something out under my own name- but now in March of 2013 I’m nearly ready to release a new album. 13 tracks written, performed, recorded, mixed, and engineered by yours truly. I was lucky enough to get a good friend of mine(and singer/songwriter/musician/guru) Mark Hutchins to master the album for me. As much as I wanted to make that final step myself, I just couldn’t. Besides the technical aspect regarding crappy equipment and software, I just felt I needed those extra ears. I needed an objective perspective to finish these songs. To help them be mass production-ready.
So over the weekend I received the mastered files of these 13 songs and Saturday morning with coffee in hand I sat in my studio and listened to Midwest Son in its entirety. I was floored. Hutchins’ mastering technique accentuates my not-quite-ready-for-prime-time sonic qualities but also brings the individual songs together to make something that sounds finished, but not polished. I’ve always had this “not lo fi but not really hi fi” sound to what I do. I think it’s just because I’ve learned as I’ve gone along album after album. It’s not some grand statement. I’m one of the last remaining fools still recording on a standalone DAW(digital audio workstation). My Korg D-1600 has been my workhorse for over 10 years now, and I’m still learning things. But I’ve gotten so comfortable with this dinosaur that going to a computer-based recording process(Pro Tools, etc) I’d be lost. Sure, I’m sure it’s probably a hell of a lot simpler, and plug-in options as far as the eye can see, but until I’m told I have to I’m sticking with what’s worked for me for so long. And as long as Mr. Hutchins puts up(humors) me, I’ll pester him to master my tunes.
So in lieu of a link leading to a J. Hubner Bandcamp page and the album waiting for immediate download, I’m offering up a song off the record. ‘The Book Wrote You’ is more of a straight up rock song, with big, fuzzy chords and even a countrified guitar solo. Very Being There-era Wilco here. In listening this this album Saturday morning I was struck by how varied these songs are. That tends to happen when writing over the course of two years. Lots of ideas, styles, moods, and phases make their way into my writing process. But they all seem to mesh together quite nicely, and ‘The Book Wrote You’ was one of the first songs I wrote for this batch.
Anyways, enough rambling. Midwest Son will be released next Tuesday, April 2nd. Until then, enjoy some good Midwest rock goodness, courtesy of me.