Go Catch A Band That Can't Catch A Break: The Caroline Movement

Garden Grove's Scott Huckabey is this really nice guy with a pretty cool band who can't seem to catch a break.

Just look at the press page for his band, The Caroline Movement. You've got the New York Times saying his performance was a "standout" at a festival in 2001. And you've got three early-oughts quotes from the Weekly raving about Caroline Movement's shows. Take this line from Rebecca Scoenkopf: "The audience was buzzing trying to figure out who the band--of whom nobody had ever heard--might be. Whoever they are, they are fantastic. Watch for 'em"

The cruel thing is that if you'd started to "watch for 'em" in 2001, you wouldn't have seen a lot. Huckabey's been doing this band thing since the early-mid 1990s, and he loves it, but: There's been no album. No record deal. No national tour. No big write-ups.

"Sometimes I feel like it's on the verge of something great," Huckabey told us recently, "and then... it doesn't happen."

Huckabey, 39, has watched two alt-country resurgences pass by his alt-country-ish band (by "band," we're pretty much talking about Huckabey himself, though he has a crew that records and performs with him). He has headed to the studio a few times, but never came out with a full album.

But he's got high hopes for his most recent foray into recording, which finds him at a studio called RPO Headquarters in Ladera Ranch (yes, that Ladera Ranch!). The Caroline Movement used to exist squarely in the No Depression set, but Huckabey says that years of playing shows have trained him to drop the affect and forget about genre.

"I can listen to songs that I've written for this [latest] record, and I can say, 'Well, this one song sounds like it's rippin' off Hall & Oates,'" Huckabey says. "'Oh, and this song sounds like Spoon.'"

Whether he gets an album out this time: Anyone's guess, but Huckabey's pretty hopeful he will. Whether you can soon see his quite-enjoyable brand of rock without pretense: Definitely. The Caroline Movement is playing on Monday at the District Lounge in Orange. Based on recent Gypsy Lounge shows, we're going to give it the coveted Heard Mentality stamp of recommendation.

And don't read too much into that flier up there. "I never wore a cowboy hat," Huckabey insists. "Not even once, man."


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