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An update before the official start of summer

It’s been a good long while since I’ve had time to reach out to those of you who still pay attention to the goings-on of my musical career, but in some ways that’s simply the logical outcome of some great busy-ness on my end.

This past month, even though I have not endured the usual slow-down (and near-dearth) of teaching that I usually experience in June, I have performed as many shows as I did last summer during my short three week mini-tour. And all of these gigs in spite of teaching GRE four nights a week for Princeton Review while doing some tutoring during the days!

First there was the Jersey Shore Music Festival in Seaside Heights, at which I made several new friends, most notably singer-songwriter Stella Mrowicki and her drummer, Nathan Whyte, the latter of whom I co-opted for an on-the-spot assist of what would have been an entirely acoustic set at Jimbo’s. He helped me open up with my original ”Sad Sack,” which he followed wonderfully given that he’d never even heard of me twenty minutes prior, and then on Billy Joel’s “Movin’ Out (Anthony’s Song).” Then he came back up and joined me at the end of my set for “Halcyon Daze,” my favourite set closer. Not only is Nate a fantastic drummer, but he seems like a great guy, so I just may have to use him for some live gigs in the future the next time Paul Galiszewski is off touring with the Goo Goo Dolls, Marshall Tucker Band, or Christopher Cross, as he is wont to do.

A week or two after that was New Jersey’s Gay Pride festival held right here in my little town of Asbury Park. I had my band with me that day, or rather, my drummer (the amazing Paul Galiszewski), and two itinerant players in lieu of my in-studio band… That included Paul’s son, Dylan, who (newly turned sixteen) is becoming quite the adept guitarist!

Days later, I found myself at a songwriter line-up in Dunellen at Roxy and Duke’s which, unfortunately, I did not do as good of a job promoting as I could or should have (if my schedule had been as empty as I’d expected). Nonetheless, it was a great night and I got to meet a number of wonderful songwriters, for which I am ever-so-grateful to Rick Barth, who coordinates the events!

Two days after Dunellen, I found myself at an almost-last-minute surprise gig in Pittsburgh at Mr Small’s Funhouse, courtesy of Megan Williams of the Turpentiners, who arranged a five-artist lineup that featured myself, herself, Paul Labrise (whose rhythm section provided back-up for half of my set before I went acoustic), cellist Barbara Arriaga, and artist/musician Bob Ziller’s project Bingo Quixote. I know it was an amazing night and wish I had got it on film (as I wish I’d got the shared stage with Nathan at Jimbo’s on film — whenever I play with new players, I want to commemorate it…. but especially if it’s at the tail end of an eight hour drive that left me so burnt out that I can’t remember anything but impressions of the evening!).

The morning after Pittsburgh, I drove up north to Oil City PA to play the Indie Fest, where Nic from Harmony Hot Haus (bluegrass band out of Harmony PA) joined me for the first half of my set again, as he did the year before. This year, he brought an electric banjo, which is every bit as cool as it sounds and which totally brought back the memory of the fact that Adam Silverstein and I did one demo version of “Sad Sack” that used banjo…. I always referred to that as “The Lord Must Be in Dreamboat Annie” mix of ”Sad Sack,” but I’d also forgot about it for several years! Funny how memories can re-emerge after time.

The last of my recent gigs found me in Philadelphia, performing a private house concert just north of the Eastern State Penitentiary (on Fairmont Avenue) in a gorgeous Victorian row house and hosted by Vera and Clem DaVinci, new friends I acquired in Cape May during the songwriter conference there in March. A portion of the proceeds were donated to a music and arts scholarship, so it was wonderful to first be in a setting where I could do over two hours of mostly original music for an appreciative and attentive audience, but also to know that I was helping to provide inroads for future artists to someday do the same! Incidentally, this house concert was such a rewarding experience that I’d really love to do many, many more of them, so if you’re on the market to play host to a house concert and believe you can rustle up an audience of 20-50 people, please write back and let me know, especially if you are within a half day’s drive for me.

I have a few more shows coming up this month before I settle back into regular day-job work and recording, mixing, and mastering more new tracks for you all. This Thursday I’ll be in Phoenixville PA at 228 (at 175 Bridge Street in Phoenixville) as part of an amazing lineup there from 7:30 until about 10:30 or 11:00, so if you have friends in the area, please tell them to show up and get their fill of amazing original music! The day after that I’ll be in Pittsburgh at Hambone’s on Butler Street, so tell all your Yinzer friends to head over there at 8:00 sharp to soak in the sounds of the summer solstice with me, Joey Newtz, Dru Badger & The Liberty Tubes, and Same Moon! (The cover for the Pittsburgh event is a scant $5.)

I’ll be writing you again once or twice over the next few weeks, first with details about which “new” song we’re *FINALLY* going to release as a single as well as hopefully an artist recommendation so I can hopefully be cheerleader for other worthy candidates for stardom!

Much love to each and every one of you

The Random Hubiak

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