Nashville’s Mark Huff recently dropped a new album, Stars for Eyes, an 11-track collection of alt rock-flavored Americana, featuring musical tales of love, loss, and mystery.
The supporting cast of musicians on the album reads like a who’s who, and includes Russ Pahl (pedal steel), Doug Lancio (guitar), Mike Vargo (bass), Micah Hulscher (keyboards), and Julie Christenson (backing vocals).
Originally from Las Vegas, Huff grew up listening to a diverse amount of artists, including Muddy Waters, the Rolling Stones, the Doors, and Neil Diamond. His first band was called Smart Bomb. He released his first album, Happy Judgment Day, in 1989. In 2005, he recorded his first Nashville studio album, Gravity, followed by Feels Like California. He’s shared the stage with Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson, Chris Isaak, and Steve Forbert, among others.
“For this album,” Huff explains, “I took the filters off. I decided to liberate myself as an artist. I arrived at a point where I felt, after a lifetime of singing and learning from great songwriters like Ray Davies and the Beatles that my vocal style had come into its own.”
While all the tracks on Stars for Eyes are excellent, a few stand above the others, including “Carolina Blue,” a dreamy, flowing tune rife with a scrumptious steel guitar, drawling across the horizon. Lush vocal harmonies infuse the tune with yummy shimmers of color.
“God in Geography” exudes a new wave pop essence, infectious and buoyant. Coruscating colors whirl and twirl with heady energy, making the tune an addictive keeper. “Heart Beating Without You” sounds like REO Speedwagon covering a psychedelic Pink Floyd number, oozing, viscous, and softly wavering.
Mists of melancholy amalgamated with wickedly sensual hues emanate from “I Know You Don’t Want My Love.” Although this is a singularly dark tune, there’s a sumptuous lethality exuding from it.
Listening to Stars for Eyes is like s’mores for the ears, creamy and sweet, with a delectable aftertaste that keeps you coming back for more.