Hi Hunter, can you tell us all a little bit about yourself before you became a country musician? I graduated high school in 2012 and decided I’d go to the fire academy that fall. I remember being in the academy and being passionate about music. I was always showing the guys in my class new music I had discovered, though I did not play guitar or write songs yet. After I graduated that Winter, the job hunt began. It took me 3 years to find a firefighting job. In that time, I waited tables at Harrah’s Casino In Kansas City. Then attended Community College in Springfield, MO where I started learning how to play guitar in my 600 square foot apartment.
What made you want a career in country music? I didn’t know I wanted a career in country music. At first, I just wanted to be good enough to play around the camp fire, or play a song or two at a party my friends were having. Then, as I progressed, I started getting some good feedback from my friends. They may have been lying to me, because lord knows I was probably horrendous, but their encouragement back then carried me all the way to where I find myself now. I can’t thank those early believers enough. Then, I wrote my first song “Can’t Get Enough,” and the reaction to that song was unreal. I still have people tell me all the time it is their favorite song of mine. It felt great to sing a song people loved that you wrote yourself. I still get that same high to this day when I write/record a song and people love it. That is what has kept me going.
Who are some of your musical icons? When I was young, one of my first memories is listening country music. I vividly remember riding to the creek for a swim with my family and hearing “My Maria” blaring out of the speakers. I also remember hearing my dad’s tapes in his truck. Our favorite was Mark Chesnutt’s album. The song “Almost Goodbye” was our jam! I remember always asking my dad “Who sings this?” and he would always tell me. From an early age, I wanted to know who to give credit to for the music I was enjoying. Fast forward to today, I really love the Texas country music scene. Cody Johnson, Koe Wetzel, Randall King, Turnpike Troubadours, Flatland Cavalry, and William Clark Green are some of my favorites, but that just scratches the surface of who I listen to. But, my favorite artist of all time is Eric Church. He has shaped my perspective about music and continues to inspire me with every record he puts out.
What is the background behind your latest single “Alone in the Lone Star”? “Alone in the Lone Star” was not my idea at all. It was the third song I wrote with my good friend Joe Costa. The first two songs we had written were both my ideas, but the day we wrote Lone Star, I was out of ideas. When I asked him if he had any ideas he simply said “Not really, but I do have one line.” He had just talked to a friend on the phone who lives in Texas. His friend said he was drinking Ranch Water which is Vodka and Topo Chico. He sang the first line of the song, “Tonight I’m drinkin’ vodka and Topo Chico.” Something about that line alone drew me in, so I said, let’s work with that, and see where we end up!
What is your recording process like when creating and making new music? Get the song written correctly. Get it to a spot you are extremely happy with, but also, don’t over think it too much. Get a simple iPhone Recording so you have the melody, chord progression, and lyrics. Then, when you are ready to take the song to the studio, tell your producer if you have a vision for how the song should sound, or send them a reference song if you want it to be in the same world as something that has already been done. If you have no idea what direction the song should go, just let the producer and the session players go to work. I’m extremely lucky to have a Producer that I trust. Kenny Royster at Direct Image Studio always nails my recordings and I never have any regrets about how the songs come out. The session players he gets in there are world class, and have played on songs that have collectively been played around the world billions of times. It’s honestly overwhelming to think about.
What are few of your favorite venues to play at? There are 3 shows I can think of right off the top of my head that I’ve had the pleasure of playing multiple times. The Kentucky Bourbon Festival. This festival has thousands of people show up. They love original music. The people who book it have been gracious enough to put me on stage as Direct Support for the headliner both of the times I’ve played it. Dallas Safari Club Benefit in Casper, Wyoming. Though it’s not always the same venue, this group of people take care of the band and I and they support everything we do. We love playing for them, and we love the great cause they champion all over the world. The Cass County Fair. It is always incredible to play in front of my hometown crowd. They know every word to most of the songs. They are wild. I’m always reminded of my purpose and how valuable music is when I play at the fairgrounds in Pleasant Hill, MO.
How would you describe your music in 3 to 5 words? Full Name, Full Flavor Country
What do you like to do in your free time? I love hunting and fishing with my dad and brother. I love long drives to new places. I love skiing in the mountains.I don’t do any of these as much as I’d like.
Is there anything else you would like to share? 2021 is going to be a big year for my music. I’m putting out a ton of new songs, music videos, and other content. I’m also going to play more shows this year than I ever have before.
What is one of your favorite quotes? Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure… than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in the gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat. —Theodore Roosevelt
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