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ARTIST ID: 15426

With a harmony-laced take on alt-folk that's both breathtaking and sweetly ethereal, The Hunts are a Chesapeake, Virginia-based band made up of seven brothers and sisters who've been playing music together almost their entire lives. Ranging from ages 16 to 24, twin sisters Jenni and Jessi and their five brothers Josh, Jonathan, Jordan, Justin, and Jamison all learned to sing and play violin as little kids and spent much of their childhood performing throughout their community. After widening their following and playing at theaters and festivals around the country-and teaching themselves to play instruments like mandolin, piano, ukulele, banjo, and drums-The Hunts started experimenting with songwriting and soon brought to life a batch of songs that reveal their sophisticated sense of melody and undeniably dreamy innocence.

The Hunts' debut EP for Cherrytree Records/Interscope, Life Was Simple features lead single "Make This Leap," a lilting piece of indie-folk built on layered harmonies, intricately textured acoustic instrumentation, and lyrics that gracefully shift from melancholy to triumphant. With Josh and Jenni taking turns as lead vocalist, The Hunts sustain that dynamic throughout Life Was Simple, often turning their shared memories into songs that capture heartache and wonder with a wide-eyed but wistful elegance. "Growing up the way we did, we had to learn to make do with what we had, so the stories from that time are incredibly special to us," says Jessi, who explains that all seven members of The Hunts write each song together. "A lot of the time we write about what we remember from being young-the things we went through that have drawn us together and stuck in our hearts and really made us who we are."

Raised in "a little tiny house but with lots of land," each of The Hunts learned to play violin as students in the music school run by their mother (a classically trained violinist) and picked up guitar with the help of their father (an arborist who taught himself to play by ear). "Our mom and dad played together as a duo for a long time, and then they added each of us kids into the group whenever we were able to play along," explains Jessi. "We started performing out in the community, playing everything from patriotic songs to Irish folk songs to songs from Disney movies," she adds. As the kids grew as musicians and started exploring different genres, The Hunts began introducing new instruments to their repertoire. "If there was something that caught our interest, our mom was really quick to put that instrument in our hands," says Jessi. "Like when Jordan realized he liked the drums, she found him a drum set at a yard sale, and he taught himself to play. She really encouraged us to pursue whatever we were drawn to."

In 2007, after years of playing locally, The Hunts began landing gigs in other states and averaging about a hundred performances a year. "We'd pack everything into a van and drive hours and hours to whatever state, and after a while it evolved a bit, and eventually the van turned into an RV," says Josh. Along with developing as a touring act, The Hunts began trying their hands at songwriting, gradually building up a selection of original songs true to their folk roots but infused with a fresh sensibility with elements of both Americana and indie-inspired folk. Rather than posting their music online, The Hunts created a demo CD that made its way through the music community and ultimately wound up in the hands of producer Mark Carman, who invited them down to Nashville to make an album in his studio.

Recorded live in just four days and released in late 2012, We Were Young features ten original songs that would soon greatly expand The Hunts' reach. "When we put out the album, we sent a few songs to a radio station here that plays local bands for an hour every Sunday night," recalls Jenni. "We were expecting to wait until that Sunday to see if they played us, but instead they put 'Make This Leap' into daily rotation, which was so exciting." The track quickly attracted the attention of New York City-based Songs Music Publishing, which in turn paved the way for The Hunts' signing with Cherrytree Records/Interscope.

Although their tastes now run from folk-rock to noise-pop, The Hunts hold true to a songwriting process that taps into each member's unique strengths but remains intensely collaborative. "Everyone's very much deeply involved every step of the way, everyone's ears and hearts are in every single line," says Jenni. As shown on Life Was Simple, that unified approach gives way to songs with an irresistible richness of spirit. From "Lifting the Sea" (a slow-building and soulful epic inspired by the siblings' longing to bring their music to the world, a dream they've realized in part by traveling to Haiti to lead a music camp for local children) to "Remember Us" (a hushed and lovely meditation on "forgiveness and washing away old hurts and learning to let things go," as Jessi explains), all of the EP's songs prove artfully arranged but instilled with a graceful simplicity.

While getting seven strong-minded brothers and sisters to agree on every last note and lyric can sometimes be chaotic, The Hunts note that the synergy born from that chaos is what makes the band so strong. "I like to look at our hectic way of writing as actually really helpful to us as songwriters," says Josh. "Each one of us is a filter, and after going through all seven of those filters, each song is so much better than it could ever be if we each just wrote on our own." Now heading out on tour in support of Life Was Simple, The Hunts are thrilled to harmonize for a bigger audience than ever before. "One of our favorite things is for all seven of us to sing together at once, and I think people really like to see the special camaraderie that comes from brothers and sisters creating something together," says Jessi. "Growing up, we didn't really have much," adds Jenni. "But we did have music, and that was the thing that always brought us together. I can't think of anything better than growing that relationship even deeper, through making more music that comes right from our hearts."

Corporate Event

Just wanted to send you a quick note to say the entertainment provided for our holiday party on Saturday, December 11th was terrific!! Our group absolutely LOVED the Hunt Family. They were exactly what I was looking for and I would strongly recommend them. What a delightful family.

University of Houston-Clearlake (TX)

Working with the Hunt Family was incredible! They are one of the easiest groups of performers that I have ever worked with and they are sooooo nice! We had a great response for us... I think it might be our biggest show of the year.

University of Houston

Red Mill Elementary

Last Monday was fabulous! SO many children and parents have approached me about how wonderful the Hunts are...of course, that isn't news to me. I just want to especially thank you for making it all happen. Everyone wants them back as soon as possible!

Red Mill Elementary

Roanoke Island Festival Park

Just delightful! Our audience thoroughly enjoyed them and they were just wonderful to work with! I had several audience members ask me when we were bringing them back."

Roanoke Island Festival Park

Town of Cary Cultural Arts Division

Everything went wonderfully with the Hunt Family.They are so sweet & easy to work with-excellent performers-I loved every minute. They were interactive & fun.The audience loved them as well. The workshop was equally spectacular. Every participant had nothing but good things to say. I'd definitely bring them back and recommend them to others!"

Performing Arts Series
Town of Cary Cultural Arts Division

Commerce Bank Amphitheatre

I was very pleased with the family and their show. They were great to work with and we got great feedback about them on our website. I would definitely recommend them to others.

Director, Commerce Bank Amphitheatre

Charity Event

We received nothing but favorable and great reviews on your performance at Kena Shrine Center for our Charity Event...Thanks for making it a success for the Shriner Hospital!

Shuler Theater - Raton, NM

The Best Band I've Never Heard Of Award goes to The Hunts, a seasoned touring group made up of nine members of a single Chesapeake, Virginia, family that melted last night's Shuler Theater audience into giddy delight. They did it with their opening song and sustained the joys through two short sets that left no one feeling shortchanged. When God was distributing talent, his vehicle must have stalled over the Hunt house; they all look so truly happy with what they've got that they might have just won the lottery.

The Celtic-influenced family string band passed around guitars and fiddles, a mandolin, a banjo, and a ukulele, augmented by a keyboard, a drum kit, and hand drums and other percussion, including pounding dance steps and drum sticks on the stage floor. Their greatest strength, though, was their infectiously-arranged original songs that sound like no one and nothing I've heard. I've made up for that today: their 2012 album We Were Young is the only music I've played all day. I've stopped the CD several times, but the songs' hooks keep playing in a loop in my head, like waves lifting the sea, amazing.

The group has been touring for ten years and last came through New Mexico five years ago. (They're in Gallup tonight, traveling the country in an RV big enough to sleep ten.) Mother and father keep a low profile in the background playing fiddle and guitars, respectively, while the "kids" -- their current ages range from 14 to 23 -- charm and bedazzle up front. The first born were twin girls, Jessi then Jenni, but they were followed by a string of boys. All are multi-instrumentalists and all contribute to the group's songwriting. If that's not enough, they're all impossibly attractive and fetching, melting more than a few hearts last night, hearts of people who, like me, hope The Hunts won't wait five years before making a third trip to New Mexico.

Shuler Theater

Rosemary Clausen Center for Performing Arts - Holstein, IA

There must have been at least forty seven different instruments on stage when The Hunt Family appeared at the Clausen Center in Holstein last Saturday. Well, maybe not quite that many but there sure were a lot of them and they all got played and played extremely well. There was a keyboard, violins, drums of just about every persuasion, an accordion, a ukulele, all chockablock with guitars (both acoustic and electric), a banjo, and who knows what else. Of course, there were also a lot of hands available to unloose their music - nine pairs in all.

The Hunt family is simply an amazing group of performers. The parents and their seven offspring came out, sang their songs, and danced their dances with such unabated joy that they captured the audience's collective heart. There was a complete lack of pretension about them. They were like the people in the house around the corner in Anytown, Anywhere. That is, if you could find such a place that housed nine accomplished musicians with a plethora of instrumentation close to hand.

There is absolutely nothing artificial or plastic about this family of entertainers. It basically comes down to this - they take great joy in both making and sharing their wonderful music. There was only one problem. There are so many people to watch and seven of them have names that start with the letter "J"... About midway through he first set, I gave up trying to put names to faces and faces to the songs they sang. I just decided to sit back and enjoy the show.

The highlight of the night came when they sang one of their original works, "Lifting the Sea". They told of taking it to Haiti on a mission trip and of how deeply moved they were by the experience. Through it they conveyed the sense that though cultures may differ and oceans may separate them, all the world's people are pretty much the same.

The Hunts
Make This Leap in Milk Bone Commercial