If You’re Seeking the Best in Alt-Folk, the Hunt is Over

Mar 22, 2017

DUBUQUE, Iowa – University of Dubuque Heritage Center closes its fourth annual Live at Heritage Center Performing Arts Series with The Hunts on Wednesday, April 12, at 7:30 p.m. in John and Alice Butler Hall. Known for their harmony-laced take on alt-folk, The Hunts are a Chesapeake, Virginia-based band of seven siblings who have been playing music together almost their entire lives. Inspired by shared memories, The Hunts create and perform original songs capturing heartache and wonder with wide-eyed yet wistful elegance.

WHAT:             Live at Heritage Center Performing Arts Series – The Hunts

WHEN:            Wednesday, April 12 – 7:30 p.m.

WHERE:          John and Alice Butler Hall, Heritage Center, University of Dubuque

TICKETS:        $25-$30 adults, $21-$25 UD alumni, $10 child/student

Twin sisters Jessi and Jenni and brothers Josh, Jonathan, Jordan, Justin, and Jamison, ranging in age from 26 to 17, comprise The Hunts. They learned to sing and play violin as young kids and spent much of their childhood performing locally. After teaching themselves to play instruments like the mandolin, piano, ukulele, banjo, fiddle, and drums, The Hunts began to experiment with songwriting.

“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,” Jessi stated on the band’s website, adding that every member 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.”

In 2007, The Hunts launched themselves as a national touring act playing at theaters, festivals, and universities. They built up a selection of original songs true to their folk roots but infused with elements of Americana and indie-inspired folk.

Recorded live in just four days and released in late 2012, We Were Young featured 10 original songs that expanded The Hunts’ reach. The track “Make This Leap” attracted the attention of New York City-based Songs Music Publishing, which paved the way for The Hunts to sign with Cherrytree Records, a division of Interscope Records. “Make This Leap” was featured in a national Milk-Bone commercial.

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 strengths. That unified approach infuses their music with an irresistible richness of spirit and graceful simplicity. While getting seven strong-minded brothers and sisters to agree on every last note and lyric can sometimes be chaotic, The Hunts insist that the synergy born from that chaos is what makes the band so strong.

The Hunts released their Life Was Simple EP in August 2014, which was played in Starbucks’ stores nationwide, and Those Younger Days in June 2015. They recently toured with O.A.R.

Prior to The Hunts’ performance, The Driftless Sisters will perform a free pre-show concert from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. on the CyberCafé Knapp Stage. Kat Karberg and Lily Sprengelmeyer are The Driftless Sisters, an indie-folk duo based out of the area’s topographical "driftless" region. They produce an eclectic sound, ranging from slow haunting melodies to upbeat driving folk pop. Since the release of their debut album Sparks from the Fire in 2015, the two have been featured on national television and toured with such acts as Jim Adkins (of Jimmy Eat World), The Way Down Wanderers, Miles Nielsen, and Little Scream.

Tickets for The Hunts can be purchased Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Farber Box Office, Heritage Center, University of Dubuque, 2255 Bennett Street; by phone at 563.585.SHOW; or online at www.dbq.edu/heritagecenter.

This engagement is supported, in part, by the William P. Woodward Visiting Artist-in-Residence Endowment.

Telegraph Herald serves as the Heritage Center 2016-2017 season presenting media partner.