The thrill (and sadness) of Hunt
Though Alison Kendra Hunt started out a few years back performing guest vocals with local country acts Slim Chance & the Convicts and Scotch Bonnet, it wasn't the twang of her mentors that would eventually set her own body of work in motion. Instead, it was a rendition of Patti Smith's "Dead to the World" she performed that laid the foundation for her doe-eyed musical approach.
"Country music had a big influence over me when I first started singing and I thought I wanted to go in that direction," Hunt says. "However, it didn't take long to realize I didn't want to pigeonhole myself like that, and I took a more natural approach to songwriting. [Patti Smith] really encourages me to push forward and to focus on my own potential as a songwriter."
Backed by keyboardist Chris Case and percussionist Keith Leslie of the Samadha Trio, along with bassist Jason Pitman, Hunt combines delicate vocals and subtle guitar strokes to create a collection of heartbreaking songs that embrace melancholy and personal affliction. While other influences include Nick Drake and Jeff Buckley, Hunt's music slowly unravels to expose thread-bare emotions of an extremely personal nature.
"I know my songs put me in a vulnerable place, but that's what I have to do," says Hunt, who plans to release her debut recording in the near future. "Sometimes I worry that people will be turned away because my lyrical content is so sad, and that I should write a happy song, but I couldn't force it. I feel connected with my sadness, and when the time is right I'll move on to another level of my songwriting." Alison Kendra Hunt performs at the Earl, Thurs., Nov. 16.