Hunt Brothers at the Double Stop Fiddle Shop – photo © Pamm Tucker
The stage at the Double Stop Fiddle Shop, where once Byron Berline, the King of the double stop, stood, was the back drop for a recent unveiling of two new bluegrass albums. Both Joe Kahlden, of Midnight Hollow, and The Hunt Brothers celebrated their latest projects in Guthrie, OK.
Joe Kahlden opened with his first solo recording. Kahlden’s background in the bluegrass scene has been ongoing since the age of 13. While exposed to bluegrass music at an early age, opportunity began to really knock when Joe was asked to join the band Cliff Top. From CliffTop to Midnight Hollow the roads for Kahlden have opened up a career highway through his talent.
Road to Nowhere offers 12 tracks of acoustic bluegrass/newgrass with vocal performances by Joe Kahlden. He offers his multi talents both as a composer and very strong songwriter on this album. Joe is a hard driven flatpicker with a voice that drips with honey. The album was mastered and engineered at Byron’s Fiddle Shop. I personally enjoyed the pure traditional sounds of Saint Ann’s Reel, which embraces with a grand entry of sound and offers sweet melodic sounds.
The following instrumentalists recorded the album: Joe Kahlden on guitar, Jonathan Hunt on banjo, Henry Burgess on mandolin, and Andrew Hunt on fiddle. Recorded and mixed at the iconic Fiddle Shop and Double Stop Recording, it is released under the label of First Capital Records.
The Hunt Brothers “get down” with their traditional bluegrass sound. Live at the Music Hall is not their only first album, but also their first live recording. To attempt a live album is difficult on its own, but to be able to make it happen without a glitch on your first release is a mastery of its own kind.
Traditionally-based bluegrass performed on Byron Berline’s stage was just the icing on the cake as the four piece band performed with an enthusiastic rendering of their 30 track release. Live the Hunt Brothers, Andrew and Jonathan, are engaging, personable, and with a focus centered on entertaining. Having studied music with Cowboy Jim Garling, they learned the secret of relaxation from Byron, and you can see it in their comfort at center stage.
The album consists of traditional tunes from Riding on the Midnight Trail to Sally Goodin, close familial harmonies, and toe-tapping music. This four piece band brings a comic personality to their routine, with the grace of God, offering a true family show experience with their own interpretation of bluegrass music. Look for this brother duet team to climb in the world of bluegrass music.
Not only was this a huge evening as Bette and Becca Berline greeted you at the door, there was yet another introduction to the filled to capacity room. Andrew Hunt, with beaming pride, brought his wife and newborn son, Charlie, onto the stage. Seems this family is full of new releases, as Charlie, who “plays the lead bassinet,” according to Uncle Jonathan, was born July 9.
Engineered by Jonathan Hunt, the following are heard on the live album: Andrew Hunt (fiddle and vocals), Jonathan Hunt (banjo and vocals), Sam Grounds (guitar and vocals), and David Meyer (bass).