The Huntertones feature the cream of the crop of young jazz musicians in the United States. Seriously. These dudes flourished at hyper-competitive music nerd bootcamps like the University of North Texas and Berklee College of Music, moved to New York and proceeded, with Godzilla-like undeniability, to gobble up every high profile gig in the five boroughs. Uniformed in leather jackets and skinny jeans, my pals are just as comfortable flying note-for-note through Coltrane solos are they are sight reading Stravinsky. They are, in a word, badass.
Which is why it brought me so much joy watching them interact with lunatic wookies, old hippies and hula-hoop girls at a 420 festival in Eugene, Oregon. If there’s an environment more un-Williamsburg, I don’t know what it is. When a mutton-chopped, patchouli-drenched degenerate with a rope for a belt noodle dances six inches from your face during load out, well, there’re only so many who can greet that scenario with a smile. “Hey bro, I feel your light moving through me” and “you blessed me most righteously with your mana” is unusual feedback when most of your shows are attended by similarly leather-jacketed people staring at their phones. I gotta say, my chums handled it admirably.
Kudos to the Huntertones! You survived belly-of-the-beast wookdom, which is no joke. Portland tonight, Seattle tomorrow. This is an amazing show, definitely an inspiration to practice when I get back to Music City.