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News Times reviews "Look What's Around"

As published in The News Times on September 13, 2002

Acoustically awesome
Huberman plays music that provokes thought

By Laurel Tuohy

Guitarist Marc Huberman will play Saturday at Danbury’s Downtime Online Café.

When the sun starts to bother you at the Gasball tomorrow, head next door to hear a burgeoning, young acoustic guitarist play at Danbury’s Downtime Online Café.

Acoustic instrumental guitar is boring, you say? Not Marc Huberman’s. His cool, funky compositions have names such as “The Weight of Life,” and his first album’s title track, “Look What’s Around.” He calls his music “thought-provoking adult contemporary.”

The CD’s first offering, “Free To Wander,” is lulling and soothing but not boring. Obviously highly skilled (and self-taught!), he demonstrates “blazing chord progression,” according to my listening partner, and mastery with both hand and pick.

“A New Year” starts out melancholy with a Latin-sounding melody but quickly becomes aggressively rock oriented. Huberman said it was written about the end of a relationship. “She and I were on the outs, but still together at New Year’s. We were trying, but it wasn’t gonna happen. We both knew it was our last new year together.”

His folky, pop-rock songs are uplifting and ballad-like. “It would make good road music,” said my trusty listening partner, who was particularly fond of “Evening Sun,” on which Huberman’s vibrant playing actually sounds like the sun retreating.

Appearing as special guests during some of Huberman’s sets will be Pangea frontman Marco LaBarbara and rock singer/guitarist Kim Lehman, both performers at this year’s Gasball festival (see separate story).

The ’97 WestConn graduate majored in communications and has been playing guitar for 15 years, mostly as a hobby. About four months ago Huberman was laid off from a corporate job, which he says was “a blessing in disguise.” He wrote about it in the song “Melancholy.”

Since then, he’s been pursuing music full time. The guitarist, who had just played an ocean bluff wedding on Block Island when I spoke to him, has also performed at Colorado Brewery, One Front Street, Gail’s Station House and numerous coffeehouses.

He calls John McLaughlin, Jimmy Page, Jeff Buckley, James Taylor and Yorma Kaukonen influences. Huberman’s music “focuses on not just running through life trying to make as much money as possible. It’s about taking time to smell the roses. Life is too short!”

The Brookfield-dweller, who calls his style “eclectic”, describes the creative process as therapeutic. “I get really engrossed in the things I write about, I enjoy it.” He calls it “a compliment if others enjoy what I do, too.”

Since Huberman’s compositions are instrumental, I was curious about how he named them. “At first, I didn’t” But people kept trying to refer to different songs, and he had to name them. “I try to think about what was going on in my life at that time — what I was thinking. My songs are a sort of profile of where I was at that time in my life.

Huberman, who also does freelance film production, says he’s inspired by “dramatic events in my and my friends’ lives. His songwriting comes in bursts: “I’ll write a few songs in one day, and then nothing for a few weeks. I just go with it.”

The café is at 1 Ives St. The free shows take place throughout the day at: 3, 5, 7, and 9 p.m. Call (203) 205-0620.



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