Rob Huddleston's time in the music scene has been far reaching. He was the founder and frontman of punk outfit Ann Beretta from 1996-2004 and began playing solo acoustic shows as early as 1995. Huddleston was ahead of the curve, stripping down his punk anthems and turning them into a one man show long before it was en vogue. His intention was to show that great songs can be slowed down and whittled away to their core elements and still pack the needed punch to captivate an audience.
After the release of the first self-titled Foundation record in 2001 on Fueled by Ramen and the subsequent tours that followed, Huddleston decided to expand on his solo project and invited some close friends to join his ranks. In late 2006, Foundation began performing as a full band whose set was comprised of songs from the self-titled full length as well as the new material Huddleston had been composing.
As the group evolved, the members revolved. Each show became a little bit different as the cast changed. However, Huddleston's signature twang and heartfelt lyrics remained the constant. With a differing combination of acoustic and electric instrumentation, the songs have been proven to obtain a unique life in each new setting.
In 2008 Huddleston rejoined forces with Vinnie Fiorello the ex-owner of Fueled By Ramen to bring this new reincarnation of Foundation to life. Vinnie's new multimedia label Paper + Plastick seemed to be an ideal place for Huddleston to showcase his new rendition of an old band with an old friend.
The approach to the record was simple. Rob would record a simple acoustic guitar track and vocals as the literal foundation of the songs, and then they were built upon to create the textured and multifaceted final product. This product would be called Chimborazo. Named after a historic district in Richmond, Virginia's Church Hill, the album sounds like the culmination of many summer nights on an old front porch.
What separates Chimborazo from Foundation's earlier work are the amount of additional players and instruments rounding out each song and the time and deliberation they spent producing the record. However, Chimborazo is not overly polished. The album gives the feeling of a live setting with the inclusion of everyone that had been participating in Foundation over the years. The songs range from traditional Americana to bluegrass to straight up Rock and Roll, and are bridged together with common themes and lyrical elements that give the record a strong sense of cohesion.
2009 will show to be a busy year for Huddleston. With Foundation releasing Chimborazo in the spring, solo and full band tour dates to follow and Ann Beretta out of hiatus to play select shows, there will be no shortage of heartfelt catchy punk and rock music for the masses.