The Creative Edge | Newport Live Presents: Phoebe Hunt at the Newport Art Museum


Creative Edge

The Creative Edge | Newport Live Presents: Phoebe Hunt at the Newport Art Museum

What: Newport Live Presents Phoebe Hunt at the Newport Art Museum

When: Saturday, November 18, 2023 | 7PM-10PM

Where: Newport Art Museum | 76 Bellevue Avenue in Newport, Rhode Island

Cost: $35

Newport Live presents Phoebe Hunt solo on Saturday, November 18th 7:00 PM at the Newport Art Museum performance space on 76 Bellevue Avenue in Newport, RI. Call Newport Live at (401)400-2774. Phoebe will be debuting her new album.

Phoebe Hunt’s sparse and vulnerable new album, Nothing Else Matters (2023), feels like an exercise in stripping things away—peeling back all the layers to get to the heart of who and what she really is. After years of writing, recording, and touring as a band member and bandleader, her latest recording finds her as a woman standing alone, just her voice and her fiddle. In that empty space left behind, Nothing Else Matters is an album that asks many questions, the most central being, “Is this enough? Am I enough?”

Whereas the fiddle and voice are often the final elements, or icing on the cake of a full band recording, this project explores what it sounds like when the fiddle and vocals represent the whole cake. Drawing from 30 years spent studying the violin/fiddle, Hunt interweaves her classical upbringing with Appalachian Old Time, Texas Swing, and a maturity of songwriting that creates an unfiltered, raw expression dripping with palpable vulnerability.

“With a twang in her voice and her trademark energetic fiddling, Texas singer-songwriter Phoebe Hunt tells the story of a woman who is determined to make her own way in the world.”

— Taken from NPR

Excerpt from Phoebe Hunt’s Brief Autobiography

With their critically acclaimed 2017 release, Shanti’s Shadow, Phoebe Hunt & The Gatherers revealed an intimate inner journey through meditation and musical exploration. Neither One of Us Is Wrong takes up where Shanti’s Shadow left off, soaring from personal introspection to a third eye colored reflection on our larger culture and the deepening polarity of the time we live in. With this release, Hunt adds an ambitious layer to her expression by expanding creatively into the realm of visual art, releasing a music video for each song on the album.  

‘I see music, and art in general, as an opportunity to interpret and transmute the experiences we collectively encounter as we journey through life. Through this album, it is my hope to connect as deeply as possible with the most diverse group of people I can find. It is only when we make connections with those who we cast aside as ‘other’ that we can bridge the divide so prevalent in our current reality.’

Recorded in Brooklyn, NY at the Grand Street Studio with her tribe of musical companions, The Gatherers, (Roy Williams -Guitar/Vox, Dominick Leslie - Mandolin, Mandola, Octave Mandolin, Sam Reider - Piano, Organ, Accordion, all things keys, Dave Speranza - Bass, Jared Engle - Bass, Rachel Loy - Bass, Nicholas Falk - Drums, Stephanie Hunt, Jazz Mills and Sierra Hull - Vocal Harmonies, Mike Barnett and Ethan Jodziewicz - additional strings) Hunt attributes their evolution as a band in Brooklyn, NY to synchronisticl beginnings:

Dom, my fiancee at the time, had met and befriended Roy Williams, an incredible musician who could jam on any instrument. Roy happened to have a room opening up in Bedstuy, and offered up the space to us. It felt like we had entered into an art-centric version of the Chronicles of Narnia. Roy was friends with every musician, and his friends were the greatest musicians I’d ever met in my life. For all practical purposes, we were living in a music conservatory. It wasn’t long before we were pulled into Roy’s world and became a House Band.

The informal band grew closer and closer as they leaned on each other to survive the demands of being musicians in New York. The spirit of collaboration that imbued Hunt’s initiation into music when she was six years old continued to insinuate itself into the life of the new tribe. A deep love of their craft allowed them to share both insecurities and creativity without ego or fear. How do we book gigs? Go on the road? Leverage Instagram? Put out an album? Perhaps unknown to them at the time, this was the beginning of a deep spiritual openness that would later translate to the musical language they created together.

The Gatherer’s didn’t formally coalesce as a band until Phoebe threw out an invitation to her New York circle of friends to travel together to India and study Indian classical music with Kala Ramnath. They practiced together for up to 10 hours a day, learning scale exercises individually and then coming together to improvise. When they returned, the momentum continued and Hunt intuitively knew that they needed to record together.  That’s how their first album, Shanti’s Shadow, was born.

We realized how much we loved each other, how well we all worked together, and that we were making something special. Two years later, it’s snowballed and we’ve played almost 200 dates a year at festivals, bars, venues and clubs. And we’ve never even had an argument.  I realized that these are my favorite musicians to record and play with. They read my voice, my nuance, my expressions, my breath. They get the songs in a way that reveals a deeper meaning than I ever imagined possible. 

Instead of following protocol and becoming a formalized band with rigid structure, this luminescent constellation of musicians run their individual projects as businesses and hire each other for gigs and tours. In one moment coalescing as Phoebe Hunt & The Gatherers, the next Brother Roy, on Friday, Sam Reider & The Human Hands.

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