February 6, 2003

Sprouting Roots-Rock From Ithaca

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A pendulum suspended from a fixed point swings freely back and forth through American rock and roll, roots-rock, country and even “psychedelic layers of noise.” Perhaps not a pendulum but rather a band by the name of Hubcap, rooted in Ithaca’s soil but beginning to spread seeds outside the local realm with the release of their debut album, Halogen Sons (I-Town records).

Just as a hubcap is held securely to its wheel, these four musicians function as a cohesive unit glued together by a passion to “rock & roll.” Hubcap’s foundation has been laid by Steve Gollnick’s songwriting, vocals, and rhythm guitar. The tensile twang of his voice mixed with a hint of southern drawl resonates honesty. Peter Glanville’s guitar work, which has been compared to that of Crazy Horse’s Danny Whitten, adds a rich texture to the band’s sound. Drummer Ryan Cady’s capabilities range from submissive rhythms to free flowing frantics, while the talents and jazz background of bassist Walt Lorenzut further define this eclectic group.

Before taking the stage at Castaway’s this past Friday, I had the opportunity to meet these four talented individuals as well as their manager, Doug Levine.

When asked for their personal definition of “alternative country,” a label often thrown at them, I received this response:

Steve Gollnick: Alternative country in the sense of an alternative to bad country is good country. We don’t label ourselves as alternative country but rather loud rock & roll