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Huns & Dr. Beeker - The Middle of Somewhere
Review by Tony BonyataIt's been awhile since a record has come along that successfully taps into both the heart and soul of some of the best '70s singer/songwriter fare such as Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, America, Bread and James Taylor. But a duo going by the moniker of Huns & Dr. Beeker have done just that on their full-length debut The Middle of Somewhere.
Hailing from the small town of Burlington, WI the twosome are far from strangers. Jon Hunsbusher (aka Huns) and Eric Erickson (aka Dr. Beeker) grew up just a few blocks from one another, where they formed a musical bond writing and performing their own compositions throughout the southwest region of Wisconsin. After a long hiatus, the two recently decided to reform and record their first official release.
Recorded in Lake Geneva and co-produced by Todd Bowie [SundayRunners, Martha Berner] the songs that unfold on this thirteen-track collection are well-written, beautifully performed and exquisitely produced. The tone of the album is immediately set in motion with the opening number, "A Day Like This," a sweet acoustic-driven ballad kissed by the twosome's sumptuous harmonies and Bowie's earthy banjo. This is quickly followed by the more pop-flavored "Cereal Girl" as well as the haunting beauty of "The Dew Drop Inn." On the majestic "Ponies" an electric guitar kicks up some additional dust over the duo's rich harmonies during the song's indelible chorus, while the simple, yet poignant guitar-line that drives "Cry Me A River" only solidifies the pain, emptiness and, ultimately, hope that aches through the song's lyric.
With their tongues in cheek, Huns and Beeker poke fun at corporate suck-ups on their song "Company Man," where they sing "I'm a company man, climbin' up the ladder just as quick as I can, Get out of my way or you'll have footprints on your back, 'cause this boy's got it all, he's on the fast track." But the two also quickly turn much more serious as they sing "Mama where are you - papa where did you go? And where are all the children who used to play here? Only heaven knows," on the introspective "Ghost Town," a tribute to the victims of Chernobyl nuclear accident.
With strong acoustic-based compositions and beautiful harmonies lightly spiced with welcome modern rock arrangements, Huns & Dr. Beeker have created a rich soundtrack for the human psyche - touching on love, loss, pain and pleasure.
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