Neilson Hubbard “Digging up the Scars”

Independent, 2021

Nashville man-behind-the scenes steps into the light.

Neilson Hubbard is a creative force to be reckoned with. His first band, The Living Hand, toured with The Counting Crows and The Wallflowers; He has had, not including this one, eight studio solo albums; He is the producer and owner of Mr Lemon’s Studios; With Joshua Britt, he makes music videos at Neighborhoods Apart; He is also a stylish photographer!
Neilson Hubbard clearly likes Nick Drake a little and has taken a lot of time to learn his trademarks which is no mean feat. He is joined on ‘Digging up Scars‘ by Juan Solorzano on lap steel guitar, which adds a gorgeous contrasting texture. Hubbard has a voice that growls like The Boss making the soft female duets another pleasing contrast. 
‘Our DNA’, the first track, sets the tone quickly, showing the tears upon his sleeves unashamedly from note one. ‘Fall into my Arms’ and ‘Love Will Drown you in the Wake‘ stand out for the inclusion of Audrey Spillman’s vocals and the closed-room style sound. This reviewer was reminded of the 90s band Better Than Ezra and 00s Snow Patrol stylings.
Digging up Scars‘ has been lovingly and carefully produced by Hubbard himself at his own studios, and unsurprisingly it has beautiful sound; Warm tones, well-mixed, and does not sound over-produced like so many Nashville albums do.
The album delivers unrivalled production and upon the shoulder of giants carries lyrics and songs for the ages. ‘Digging up Scars‘ sounds like a sophomore album six albums too late. The songwriting sadly doesn’t match the talent of the production. Hubbard is a rare musical force – may he continue his creative endeavours.

6/10
6/10

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