“One listen to Luanne Hunt and you won't be able to take Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood seriously anymore”
— Jamsphere Magazine
Reviews for "Backroads, Bottles & Blues"
Luanne Hunt delivers amazing, passionate and catchy songs on her fantastic new EP, "Backroads, Bottles & Blues."
Review by the Band Camp Diaries
Recently, Luanne Hunt released an exciting new EP titled “Backroads, Bottles & Blues.” It features 7 tracks, which blur the lines between various genres in a very passionate and seamless way. The sound of this EP falls somewhere between the intimacy of Folk/Americana and the catchy feel of modern country, as well as the energy of blues and even some hints of pop and rock.
One of the most striking aspects of Luanne’s music is definitely the fact that she is very versatile as an artist, and she is always keen on exploring a wide range of different genres, influences, and ideas.
The EP kicks off with an absolute stunner, “The Rhythm (Of A Country Song). As the title might suggest, the sound and feel of this track is all about those uplifting country vibes. This is exactly that kind of sound that makes people want to get together and really enjoy themselves, sharing a fantastic communal experience. The track has a very vibrant energy to it, and it could not have been a more suitable introduction to this fantastic EP!
Later, the music goes on with “Truckstops & Honkytonks.” This is a nice, sassy song with a lot of attitude, and it definitely highlights that beautiful blend of energy that makes this EP so special. On this track, Luanne Hunt’s voice is absolutely masterful: her performance is warm and direct, and she has a broad dynamic range that allows the track to really stand out. The third song on this release is titled “Broken Branches” and it definitely showcases a more personal side to the artist, going for a more intimate feel. This song reminds me what’s so great about country music. It’s not just about great hooks and nice rhythms, but also about fantastic storytelling. Luanne is really able to tell a powerful story through her singing, engaging with the audience on a much deeper level.
The fourth track on this EP, “Lightning In A Bottle,” could easily be described as one of the most representative songs on this particular EP. Not surprisingly, this tune was chosen as a leading single for this release and it’s quite easy to see why. On this number, Luanne teamed up with Steven Bankey, and the pair really knocked it out of the park with a fantastic duet performance. If you enjoy the sound of artists such as Brand Paisley or Dixie Chicks, you are certainly going to enjoy this particular release and its catchy country/pop feel!
“Old Tobacco Road” and “Whiskey Wisdom” seem to be a match made in heaven, and it is also not surprising that these two songs are back to back. The themes of these tracks explore classic country/Americana storytelling, and I find it interesting that the titles of these songs actually relate to two vices such as smoking and drinking. They constitute a really stunning centerpiece for the album, and they feel as timeless as ever - definitely two of my favorites interpretations on the EP. Last, but decidedly not least, the seventh song on this EP is titled “Love Led Us Here.” This tune is a passionate ballad with a nice, melancholic feel and a unique approach to harmony and melody.
In addition to the personable and edgy performance value found on these amazing seven songs, this EP release is also quite distinctive because of the sheer quality of the production. Each song mix is actually very balanced and detail-oriented, making for a lively, edgy and stark sonic approach. This is really the sound of musicians who are passionate about their craft and pour all of their soul into what they are doing.
In other words, there are many subtle nuances in this release, which really add to the richness of the tracks when summed up together. From the beautiful tone of the acoustic guitars to the charming fiddle lines and the intelligent vocal arrangements, the possibilities are endless.
Learn more about Luanne Hunt, and do not miss out on “Backroads, Bottles & Blues” as well as other releases from this talented artist and performer.
Reviews for "Lightning In A Bottle"
Luanne Hunt and Steven Bankey team up to create a new, masterful piece of music - "Lightning In A Bottle."
Review by the Band Camp Diaries
"Lightning In A Bottle" is a charming, country gem with a genuine and organic feel. The stomping rhythm and chunky chords of the guitar and the depth of the male vocals echo the work of classic legends of the genre from Johnny Cash to Waylon Jennings, and even Willie Nelson, just to mention a few.
As it often happens with the greatest country tracks, one of the greatest strengths of “Lightning In A Bottle” is decidedly the song’s stark minimalism, as well as its earnest and personal lyricism.
When Luanne joins in, her presence revolutionizes the dynamics of the song, morphing the tune from a somber country loner to an uplifting number with a more hopeful twist. Steven and Luanne sing in such a way that their vocals are a perfect fit, covering a wide range and using their different timbers and vital textures to add depth and width to this song.
Luanne is a true country star on the rise, and this song is yet another milestone in her amazing and fast-growing career. Along with her new “partner in crime”, Steven Bankey, Luanne managed to bring something very personal and unique to the table, while following the timeless traditions and stylistic quirks that make country music great. The production approach, for example, is direct and on-the-spot, with a spontaneous, ”live” feel, which retains clarity, while adding some life to the recording. “Lightning In A Bottle” lives up to its title with a truly electrifying melody and lyrics!
This country tune, with an alt-folk taste, will leave you yearning for some more.
Luanne Hunt and Steven Bankey deliver timeless sound and flawless performances on "Lightning In A Bottle"
Review by Sleeping Bag Studios
Those of you out there that read these pages know me well enough by now to know that Country hasn’t always been…my first choice when it comes to genres to listen to, let’s put it that way. And while I’ve dropped hints from time to time that I was raised on Cash & Conway Twitty just like many of us out there, I’ve also been honest about the fact it’s been a style of music that eluded making the impact it likely should have. What you might not know, however, is that I’ve actually grown up a bit over this past year…and you can thank Mike Judge for that. His latest animated show, Tales From The Tour Bus was so well done and so immaculately detailed in its understanding of the roots of the genre, that SOMEHOW, something penetrated this steel-trap of a brain I have and I actually feel like I really ‘get it’ now. I developed an appreciation…a respect for Country music that I was honestly unsure I’d ever achieve in my lifetime. All this from the guy that brought us Beavis And Butthead – who would’ve thought?
That being said, my saloon doors are wide open for a star like Luanne Hunt to walk on through now. Her new single, “Lightning In A Bottle,” with fellow Country cohort Steven Bankey is a sweet & delightful tune to listen to. These two really put that respect for the genre itself right at the forefront of their collaboration; you can hear the classic sound of Country music running deep throughout their style. Right now in my world, that counts for a lot actually.
Because while I might have developed a new appreciation for the genre – it’s the most classic sounds of Country that impress me; I’m not going back on my beliefs that modern-day Country music has pretty much lost its damn mind, that opinion still stands firm. So to hear a song like “Lightning In A Bottle” from Luanne & Steven, is actually like a breath of fresh air…a musical moment of levity whereby the creators of this tune seem to really understand that all the flash & pop infused into today’s Country stars just ain’t the right way to connect to the sentiments & sounds that have made the genre timeless. Instead, they go deep to the roots of the genre to pull out the best of what has always made Country great and truly lasts throughout the years. From my recent experience with the ol’ animated show I was watching, which is essentially a documentary of some of the wildest characters & legends you’ll find in real Country music, I found myself feeling like I was listening to something from the sweet pairing of talent between George Jones & Tammy Wynette on “Lightning In A Bottle.” Are there better references and comparisons to make to what Luanne & Steven have created here? Perhaps – I’m still new at this, but as far as my ears can tell, it seems to apply.
Seriously though – I think this is a great tune. Even though I’ve referred to it as sweet, which it IS in its sound – the lyrics of course, tell a different tale altogether…it’s got some pretty heartbreaking lyrics when it comes right down to it, “Lightning In A Bottle” explains in great detail the struggles of love and living ‘the life’ in accurate ways that’ll resonate & connect with listeners out there. Likely for some, it might even hit the bullseye when it comes to just how close this song can hit home – many will relate.
They both do a fantastic job in the vocal department, no doubt about it. I love the duet style to begin with – they sound great together in their harmonies but they’re also equally powerful when apart. Steven starts the song with a heavy Country drawl and weighted emotions in his voice, which in turn sets the stage for Luanne to come in for her moments later on and essentially confirm the tales told in “Lightning In A Bottle” from the other side of the relationship’s perspective, delivering her sweetened tones on the mic with a wonderfully contrasting sentiment flowing through the lyrics. So you see? They get it. It might not be the most uplifting song you’re going to hear this year – but that’s not what great Country music has often been about, if ever at all. The greatest songs out there, in my opinion, are very much like “Lightning In A Bottle” – songs that are unafraid of the darker parts of our lives…parts we might not even necessarily be proud of even. “Lightning In A Bottle” tackles tough subject matter – personal, real, & relatable moments that highlight the vulnerability and fragility of love between two. It shines a spotlight on the fact that life ain’t an easy ride by any stretch…and that quite often we search for the answers we’re looking for in all the wrong places.
What I really loved about the way they both approach their vocals on this new single, is that they both sing it with a humble honesty that gives you the impression that the story behind the song could apply to me, to YOU, to anyone out there…if we’re not careful in how we handle the preciousness of life & love. There’s no false pretense in a classic sound like these two have discovered on “Lightning In A Bottle” – they’re great singers without a doubt, but in the words themselves, they’ve clearly woven a tale that could apply to a ton of people out there.
And that’ll work in their favor for sure – nothing wrong with that. At the end of the day, a lot of the songs we all love and hold dear are songs that make us recognize something in ourselves, or feel like a natural extension of our own thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Taking a low-key approach in the chilled-out vibes of the stunning music that surrounds them seems to make the sound of “Lightning In A Bottle” truly feel like it’s tale that belongs to them, but one that could very well apply to us all. Therein lies the true magic of great songwriting…that ability to make it all sound real and pass that feeling on to us as listeners in such a resounding way that we internalize the emotion and relate it to our own lives.
All this wonderful stuff being said, it’s far from the first rodeo for either of these two veterans of the Country music scene. To read about Luanne’s music over the past two decades or so reveals an artist with genuine passion & a huge heart; an artist that’s been dedicated to her genre and found her way to numerous awards, accolades of all kinds from her fans to her peers in the genre, and constantly dominating Country music playlists and charts all around the world. She’s a confident beacon of pure talent – and I think she radiates that brightness through her performance on “Lightning In A Bottle.” Steven Bankey has been hitting the stage and taking his music to venues all throughout his local state of Iowa from clubs to concert halls – and I think that ‘seen it all’ wisdom in his voice combined with the ‘can’t help myself anyhow’ vibe of the lyrics makes for an insightful contrast that he delivers spot-on. Rounding out the writing credits here, is one more notable name – Steve Hunt. I’m no expert…but I think you’ll notice that this second Steve seems to have a familiar last name…one which, after a quick search to good ol’ reliable Wikipedia will tell you, is Luanne’s husband. It’s in learning that, that you really start to realize the full scope of just how potentially personal “Lightning In A Bottle” could truly be.
Highly interesting tune to listen to with that extra tidbit of information in mind, and all-in-all, I felt like the gentle music and insightful lyricism stayed true to the roots of the genre in all the best of ways. Luanne Hunt & Steven Bankey have done an exceptional job on their latest single, “Lightning In A Bottle” – I might not know everything there is to know about Country music just yet, but y’all know I support a good tune in any style…and this is a song that’ll last with its timeless sound & flawless performances.
"Lightning In A Bottle" destined for top of the country charts
Review by Dave Franklin, Dancing About Architecture
There is a part of country music which errs on the side of over-earnestness. Brooding acoustic guitar slingers singing of unrequited love, darker times and driving off into the sunset. That's fine because there is obviously a market for such a style. Thankfully, though, there is equally a market for something with more spring in its step, for the jaunty and boogie-some, which can act as the lighter balance. Luanne Hunt sits very much on that side of the sonic seesaw.
This time out, joined by Steven Bankey, she proves that even whilst taking a less well traveled route, for her at least, musically, "Lightning In A Bottle" is joyous and infectious. Although more often associated with holiday songs, celebratory tunes, songs sung with a knowing smile and even euphoric gospel music, here her subject matter is wistful and reflective, dwelling on the times in life when things don’t quite work out. It never veers into the melancholic or self-pitying more interested in taking a philosophical and accepting stance.
And the heartache laced through the lyrics is more than balanced by the music. Deft and intricate guitar work, sassy beats, wonderfully traded vocals, a soaring fiddle and a bank of sumptuous harmonies are the order of the day. The song sits somewhere between the rhinestone glitter of Music City and a broader country-pop vibe whilst being an automatic pick for any country chart that happens to cross its path. The tune also is genre-hopping and accessible enough to find itself a contender for the non-specialist realms too.
Life is tough and we all make mistakes. Country music has always been the perfect vehicle for documenting those moments but do so via the sort of music that Luanne Hunt and Steve Bankey make. Somehow things don’t see quite so bad after all.
Luanne Hunt and Steve Bankey's incredible vocals shine on "Lightning In A Bottle."
Review by Skope Magazine
Luanne Hunt and Steven Bankey tap into a homespun country charm with the passionate,“Lightning In A Bottle.” Sung with the utmost of honesty, a great soothing quality washes over it all. The lyrics focus upon trying to resist temptation, for that temptation brings a quick fix, not a satisfying feeling.
Applying multiple layers of sound gives it a folksy charm, from the lovely twang of the guitar to the fiery sound of the fiddle. The piano’s gorgeous flourishes further add to the reassuring, soothing aura.
By far the heart and soul of the sound comes from the incredible vocals that recall the tale of falling from grace and coming back to it again. With this cautionary tale, Hunt and Bankey sing straight from the heart.
The story begins quite quickly, coming into view alongside the gorgeous guitar work. Lyrics describe the loss that comes with relying upon that which is always transitory. Multiple layers of sound work in unison to create a wonderful stream of consciousness sort of temperament, one that engages in a tremendous amount of group play.
Allowing for just the right amount of space, everything feels so soothing and majestic. Hunt and Bankey sing from a perspective of having lived it, of talking about the way of finding one’s true self.
The duo create a compelling tale, one with a message that will resonate long after the song is over.
Reviews for "Texas Tears" & "So It Goes"
By Buddy Nelson
Throughout her illustrious career, chart-topping and award-winning Indie country star Luanne Hunt has built an impressive list of accomplishments, including scoring numerous No. 1 hits on country music charts around the world.
She is best known for her chart-topping single, ‘Christmas Without You’, which was named by Sweden’s largest daily newspaper, Dagens Nyheter, one of the Top 25 Christmas Songs of All-Time. Hunt also was recently inducted into the Independent Superstars Country Music Hall of Fame.
Over the years, the Southern California resident’s songs have been played on AM, FM, satellite and Internet stations around the world. Her critically-acclaimed country/folk tune, “Solace in The Wind,” became a hit on UK country charts and also earned a spot on the 2009 Grammy ballot in two categories: Best Country Song and Best Female Country Performance.
Once again, Hunt is back with another hit song titled “Texas Tears,” which recently went to No. 1 on European country charts. One listen to this song and you will not be able to take Carrie Underwood or Taylor Swift seriously anymore. The ‘country music’ that they make is fake at best, but granted they know how to churn out good tunes. Hunt targets a different audience – one that respects the great tradition of country music. It’s an art that few have appreciated and a genre that very few have been able to truly embrace.
I can safely say that on “Texas Tears,” Hunt illustrates that she knows what country music is all about. She is a great storyteller and reminds me of a female Hank Williams, Sr. mixed with some Loretta Lynn. Her singing has a feel of traditional country rather than the typically over-produced and over-mixed vocals of most of the female artists in the genre today.
Hunt is single-handedly bringing back respect and dignity to a genre that has been overtaken by corporate mongers. She is a special talent - gutsy, real, and somehow introspective too, which separates her from the rest of the country female pack. She’s exactly what country radio needs to not only continuously appeal to their current audience, but to break the stereotypes and appeal to new audiences, as well.