Love or hate 'em, reviews are part of the process. Check out what the critics and listeners have to say about Andrew D. Huber and The Gecko Club.
Huber has a fine folk-rock approach with brisk songs that rock out just enough for a rousing night in the club, but hold on tightly to a fine catchy melody. He has a touch of Irish in the mix, but not in any overwhelming sense. It almost approaches a certain Eastern Canada/UK hybrid folk style, although Huber operates out of the Midwestern US states. There are plenty of good songs on this album and his warm and breathy vocals are a fine starting point for this music, although there are plenty of fine instrumental parts as well.
© David Hintz
Andrew D. Huber veröffentlich mit “Mercury gets a Moon” sein viertes Soloalbum. Hier finden sich 15 eher ruhigere Kompositionen des Gecko-Club Frontmanns, die dennoch überzeugend und handwerklich gut gemacht daher kommen. Manche Songs liefern irisches Storytelling ab (Two Drink Charlie), andere wiederum kommen mit mehr Druck daher (Tell the Devil). Dazu gibt es noch eine Menge Balladen des Songwriters. “Mercury gets a moon” ist ein glattes Album, dass auch gut auf Funkhaus Europa laufen könnte. Aber lassen wir ihn doch für sich selbst sprechen:
From MUSIC MORSELS: The Midwest has always been a hotbed of talented songwriters, despite cities like L.A., NYC, Austin and Nashville always getting credit. Illinois’ Andrew D. Huber graces us with his forth release which explores further depths of his songwriting while keeping the alt-Heartland folk-rock vibe intact. His wonderful vocal work is obvious right out of the gate on the title track with subtle power in bare bones passages sandwiched by hard edged folk rock grooves. “Scarlett Kissed a Sailor” “ and “Two Drink Charlie” have Celtic story telling vibes with tongue-in-cheek lyrics and a toe-tapping rock backdrop. “Gabriel and the Sparrow” shows a mellower side graced by violins and honest, sweetly emotive vocal work. “San Antonio Greyhound” is a meaty but still folk-edged Heartland rocker. Andrew breaches both extremes of the spiritual with the wicked pounding Irish folk of “Tell The Devil” followed by the lush, soulful ballad of “God Will Bring a Better Day.” Andrew has an extraordinary depth to his songwriting pool, but does not mind avoiding a true comfort zone by swimming in the eddies and rip currents. His obvious talent for playing and singing makes a combination that can really get its hooks into you. – MW
From SOUNDPRESS.NET: Illinois indie rocker Andrew D. Huber's Mercury Gets a Moon has been called an acoustic-rock-folk-celtic hootenanny throwdown and it marks another step forward for his straight-forward, personal folk-rock storytelling that is bound in earnest and emotional songs. http://www.soundpress.net/files-feature-articles-sson/fa-2015-02-05-sson.php
From MODERN FOLK MUSIC OF AMERICA: andrew d. huber is a singer/songwriter from the great plains of the american midwest. his straight-forward, personal folk-rock tunes are earnest and emotional. his new album 'mercury gets a moon', showcases his songwriting against a varied backdrop, from delicate picking and atmospheric strings to full-on, driving roots rock. check out a few tunes below. http://www.themodernfolk.net/2015/01/andrew-d-huber-mercury-gets-moon.html
From SING OUT! - new release feature:https://www.pinterest.com/singoutfolk/sing-out-folk-music-new-releases/
From ECLECTIC CHAIR: (featured on podcast #20!) http://radiochair.blogspot.com/
(Review provided via email by an attendee of the CD release show)
I was invited to a new music album introduction concert for the first time. Mercury Gets A Moon by Andrew D. Huber (Northlight Records - Andrew D. Huber + the Gecko Club + NorthLightRecords - Home). His music is in the acoustic/Celtic genre, but it’s complicated. First of all, let me say that I am a fan of Mr. Huber. So, if you’re looking for an unbiased, snarky review, you’ll have to go elsewhere!
What gives me the right to write (gall) a review, you say? Well, firstly, I have been to Ireland, Scotland, England and Wales many times. Secondly, I have spent a considerable amount of time in the pubs at each sipping on a pint of ale, bitter or Guinness listening to local Celtic music (as far as I can remember!). I do play the guitar, but I am a devout blues and rock and roll fan. Lastly, I am old. Which my children say gives me the right to say anything… they just caution… “ignore him.”
Ahh… the album Mercury Gets A Moon by Mr. Huber….
Overall Impressions: This is a bottle of wine album (or at least several pints!). Sit down, have a bottle of your favorite wine handy and listen TO THE ENTIRE ALBUM! There are drinking songs, thoughtful songs and (my favorite) deeply personal songs to enjoy on this album. Some are very Celtic and others are Celtic – “esque.” The wide range of songs is deeply satisfying. There are simple songs and songs with more filigree than a widow’s handkerchief. Listen closely.
His best lyrics are Hemingway-like and that sudden introspective take on the experience. His best music celebrates the Celtic rondo character type (look it up).
One can tell that Mr. Huber had fun doing these songs. Not one felt like it was that “I have to have one (two) more songs to do to finish the album” many albums have.
The Songs: I won’t say something about EVERY song… but these are the one’s that struck me.
Gabriel and the Sparrow – Possibly the best song I have heard in a long time. It took me away to a different time (place) during the song. It is Andrew’s best introspective song!
Don't Tell Me Of The Sea – Absolutely wonderful! A full-on creation of Celtic/Storytelling/Life Lesson. Wanted more!
Broken Sky – Seemed to be the defining song of the album (although not the title song)!
Tell The Devil – Next to the bottle of wine, have a shot of really good Irish Whiskey waiting for this one. Genius! Bet this was fun to write!
Noah Had It Right - Celtic/Storytelling/Life Lesson at it’s best!
Conclusion: Get this album by Mr. Huber. It is worth the money spent to experience these great songs!
From Illinois Entertainer
On Andrew D. Huber’s third solo release, Days Amidst The Dust, his acoustic folk rock with a Celtic twist is highly infectious. The 13 tracks are well-crafted, emotional, and memorable. His thought-engaging lyrics and heartfelt melodies permeate the whole of the disc. “Letter From St. Paul” and “Devil’s Mouth” walk the path of Simon & Garfunkel or Bob Dylan. “Box Elder Stomp” is a head-bobbin’ ditty that will put a smile on your face; handclaps, effects, and chants all enhance the mood and feeling of the song. Imagine yourself at an Irish bar at 2 a.m. drunkenly and gloriously singing along in unison with others to some great folk anthems – this is the feeling of Days Amidst The Dust. (andrewdhuber.com)
– Kelley Simms
Artist: Andrew D. Huber
Album: Days Amidst The Dust
Review by Matthew Forss
Days Amidst The Dust is the third solo album from the Illinois-based Andrew D. Huber. A talented vocalist and guitarist, Andrew incorporates the bass, mandolin, bouzouki, bodhran, flute, stick, gong, keyboards, and other instruments for a well-rounded alternative pop, folk, and Celtic-inspired production. Thirteen songs represent a candid, intimate, and creative adventure of folk stylings.
“Resurrection Mary” begins with a Celtic-inspired guitar melody and Andrew’s fine story-telling vocals. The guitar and percussion is relatively light without modern, electrified additions. The folksy song contains wavering strings and the sparkling tones of the mandolin. The magical composition is a catchy tune with all the giddy offerings of Celtic music and folk elements. Though, the vocals are not accented, the music still retains a creative, Celtic spirit. “Bugle” is a solo acoustic guitar tune with Andrew’s story-telling lyrics leading the charge throughout. The plaintive song is very reflective and folk-infused. The slowly-played guitar and quieter vocals than other songs possess an intimate spirit overall.
“Bottom Of The Glass” begins with an alternative rock approach with a more acoustic guitar presence, but the vocals reflect a rock element that becomes louder after the first thirty-seconds. The drinking references are mainly reserved to the song title, but the pub-centric song contains a writhing melody that could be composed by R.E.M. In fact, Andrew’s vocals reflect a Stipe-esque presence throughout the song. “Heyda” is a short, but carefully-crafted, instrumental tune on acoustic guitar. It is a fitting song for an intro or outro on any folk guitar or Celtic album.
“Dust Of The Earth” is another R.E.M.-inspired tune with echoing sounds, poetic murmurs, folk-rock arrangements, and anthemic elements. The opening seconds contain radio static and a slowly-played acoustic guitar that accompanies Andrew’s voice. The bass and percussion kicks-in with a moderate-tempo and folk-rock elements that contain spacious sounds and keyboard noises. The song opens up for a little instrumental interplay that does not last longer than a few seconds, but the catchy melody and good vocals make this song a memorable one for the album.
“The Very True Story of Maggie McGlynn” opens with Andrew’s heartfelt vocals and the picking of a mandolin. Some percussion adds a level of rhythm with a drone of strings. The Celtic-inspired tune contains back-up vocals amidst the punchy arrangements. The story-telling ambiance is evident throughout, but the catchy elements are strong and worthy of repeating. “Buffalo Plaid (Comic Book Hero)” opens with Andrew’s youthful vocals that are joined by the bass, electric guitar, and accordion-like sounds throughout. The mix of folk and anthemic rock is nominal, but the electric guitar shines mid-way through the song in a solo display of skill. The waning vocals and whining guitar sounds produce a fine example of Celtic-folk-rock that meets old school Weezer.
“Make The Mountain Low” is an intimate, quiet, and reserved composition for solo guitar and vocal. Andrew’s plaintive guitar playing and folk vocals are reminiscent of Australia’s Xavier Rudd. At any rate, the sub-two-minute song is a fine addition to the album—no matter where it falls in the track-listing.
Andrew D. Huber’s Days Amidst The Dust is an intimate showcase of Celtic-inspired tunes, folk-rock ambiances, and remarkably catchy songs for seemingly any occasion. The ability to create simple songs with simple melodies is paramount for any album. Andrew succeeds on all accords by incorporating inventive and varying vocals, varied song structures, and several instruments to create an engaging result. Fans of R.E.M., Xavier Rudd, and all Celtic-folk music will find enjoyment in Andrew’s latest release.
Review by Matthew Forss
Rating: 5 Stars (out of 5)
Andrew D. Huber - Days Amidst The Dust (NorthLight Records)
The third solo album from the Gecko Club frontman, Andrew D. Huber, is another hugely satisfying slab of lively Celtic folk-rock. Lyrically, he’s coming out fighting, with songs of resistance and reclamation providing no shortage of fist-in-the-air moments. When he’s at full tilt, he hits his acoustic guitar like it’s wronged him in a previous life, but for the most part he shows mercy, and let his voice and words provide the passion. He fills out the sound with various wood and string instruments, including bouzouki and mandolin.
The album opens with “Resurrection Mary”, a wonderfully evocative title for a song that refers to Chicago’s infamous hitchhiker ghost story, though Huber messes with the narrative and turns it into something different. Perhaps it’s a love song - definitely a song of longing. It’s my favourite track here, but there’s plenty more good stuff to enjoy. “Grand Marais” transports the listener to the banks of Lake Superior and the Minnesota harbour town that gives the song its name. It’s a song about the troubadour life, a form that when done well can be compelling. Here Huber nails it. On “Bottom of the Glass” he teaches his guitar a lesson it won’t forget in a while, and it’s good and rousing. “Letter from St. Paul” is no less powerful, though infinitely quieter.
Rob F. - Leicester Bangs 'Zine
Excellent, excellent. FIVE STARS
Review by 3rdAlteration
Andrew D. Huber creates a true album experience with great poetic lyrics and carefully crafted music throughout. Seagull has got soul, love, sadness, joy, spirituality, booze and trains: it's like Johnny Cash meets the Waterboys ("One More Round", "Union Station" and "Yellow to Crystal" are particular standouts in those terms). Highly recommend.
The Gecko Club don’t distinguish themselves from hundreds of other bands, but they don’t embarrass themselves either. Working around a format where guitar power pop is king and all should genuflect to it, the group open up this musical journey with a warm, Cure-ish “Sixteen Different Ways” that also recalls the Connells at their finest. “Kaleidoscope” takes a bit longer to cozy up to, but “Pretty Victorian” is, well, quite pretty. But the Gecko Club can also dish out Morrissey-ish maudlin Britpop, as is the case with “Chairman of the Bored” and the jangle-laced “Justified”. The album is also strong because it never has a rough spot, with “Run So Far” and the calming title track ensuring the consistency remains top notch. The homestretch contains more of the same with “Had a Secret” and the dance-rock vibe coming from “Brand New Hope”. But things take a noticeable swing with softer singer-songwriter tracks like “Penguin Song”.
Readers' tapes TOP PICK
"You know how you need a shot of sake after a sushi bender? Well, after you've digested all the punk and hardcore in your CD collection, let Andrew Huber clean your palette. His soft acoustic songs are right from the pages of James Taylor and Dan Fogelberg, and he even gets a little rockin' and twangy on tracks like "Tearin' Me Down." Get your mellow on." (SH)
Great Review from Music Morsels!author: Mark E. WaterburyAndrew D. Huber - Ten Songs From the Side Room Singer/songwriter/guitarist for the band Gecko Club, Andrew D. Huber's first solo album melds folkish melodies with styles ranging from mellow country in "Celebrity" to the atmospheric "London" and rollicking "Favorite Local Bar." Andrew's voice gains notice right away with it's pleasing timber fueled by a sort of ambient power. Solid lyrics and the talent and desire to do things a bit different bode well here. URL: http://www.andrewdhuber.com E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org: AnonymousA friend of mine recommended the song "superhero" to me while I was going through a rough time......ended up loving the whole album......"I am no superhero, and I will never be so blessed" kinda says it all.completely listenableauthor: Glenn PThis album drew me in a bit. The songs are short and shamelessly rely on catchy melodies. The guitar playing is adept and the vocals ring pretty & clear. Lyrics are a little perplexing at times, but that may be intentional - kind of like a movie with a real-life ending. If the stark lyric and production of track #2 ("Celebrity") doesn't move you, you may be dead. My other favorite was "First Ten Year", which laments missing the big high school reunion -- sort of. Have not heard the Gecko Club's album (his electric band I guess?) but this one is pretty damn good.Up-close, personal, and honest musicauthor: Paul H.The great storytelling lyrics of Micheal McDermott combined with the multi-instrumentalist talents of Robert Johnson (the other RJ). Something for everyone. Check this CD out!Cool music, great coverauthor: Charlotte S.Not being that much of a big fan of this genre (more of a classical listener I guess) I thought some of these songs were pretty cool. Overall a good purchase -- the picture on the cover is worth the cost alone! -- Charlotte S.
Tokens, Trash, or Tarot Cards
Volume 16: Number 11, August 2003
Readers' tapes"'The Present' is a driving male rock vocal song . . . Healthy driving bass with good tone. We like the sound of the entire drum kit. . . . A real band that can play tightly."
Volume 4: Issue 21, August 23, 2000
Gecko Club: Artist of the Week
- "The Gecko Club is more fun to listen to than the name might suggest. Operating under the moniker since '94, Andrew Huber plays guitar and sings, Tom Huber plays bass and keys, and Chris Kahl plays drums. The trio is augmented by Christopher Collins on fiddle on a number of tracks. Tokens, Trash, or Tarot Cards is all tension and melodies. This crew carries fuzz guitar pop close to its collective heart. The overall sound of this record is tuneful. The vocals are buried ever so slightly beneath the surface. [Songs] like "Merry Merry" and "KellyAnne Sometimes" suggest a tuneful bittersweet mood rather than hit the listener over the head. "Church For You" is a blurry tapestry of sadness, and yet there is a smile through the tears. Where there are obvious nods to anglo pop, there is also the stray homage to bands like Psychadelic Furs or Peter Gabriel. Their cheerful yet pouty songs manage to stick with you. Enjoying airplay in a number of markets out east, and college radio in the midwest, Gecko Club seem to be well on their way. Do you like subtle shimmering pop? Gecko Club's got the goods."
Top 40 Baby!!author: the Indie MaverickOK maybe not actual Top 40 charting here, but there are several missed hits within this album (at least to my humble ears). Melody is king with the gecko, as evident thoughout the whole disc; check out "KellyAnne Sometimes", "The Present", and "Fall" and dry your tears after the empathetic "Lighthouse". Hope to hear more from these guys down the road.
Been Nowhere (out-of-print demo)
- Cake Magazine, Issue # 25
- "My dictionary defines the gecko as a lizard with "a short, stout body, a large head, and suction pads on its feet". A pretty apt description of this local four piece, if you ask me. For the most part, their music can be tagged as dreamy, psychadelic pop with few frills which, at its best, ventures close to Robyn Hitchcock and the Chills. In fact, "Kaleidoscope" is the best Chills' song I've never heard them do. At it's worst, there is a self-importance to the orchestration they bring to some of the songs (all four members boast classical training) which has a tendency to bring things to a sloggy halt such as on "Everywhere Between Us". Regardless, it's the music that matters and here it's quite good. In fact, these songs are catchy enough and alluring enough to stick to you like, well, a gecko would." (GK -- Cake Magazine, issue # 25)
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