Local musician Carter Hunnicutt is one of those guys Iâ€™ve just known forever. Iâ€™m pretty sure I met him while making band posters at the old Clark Graphics on Locust (in a space that was later swallowed up in an Atomic Records expansion).
Definitely we knew each other by the time this former XCleaver had started his own band, Flat Rabbits, in which my bandâ€™s trombonist played bass.
After only occasionally running into each other -- he typically on a Milwaukee Fire Dept. truck â€“ I reconnected with Carter on the occasion of the release of his new CD, "Dangerous World," which pairs a trio of older songs with three new ones, recorded with Kelp Chofs and other local musical vets, like drummer Mike Koch.
Like the vintage of its material, "Dangerous World" blends the best of mid-80s music with contemporary sounds and styles and is full of catchy songs with memorable choruses. Hunnicuttâ€™s writing is a little quirky, but itâ€™s traditionally poppy, driven by his keyboard playing and vocals.
In advance of the CD release party, Sunday, May 22 at Circle A Cafe in Riverwest, I asked Carter to share some thoughts about his career and the new record and he had a lot to say...
On making music:
My mother was a classical piano teacher so I was not given a choice in the matter. She trained me, including music theory. She also listened to a lot of old country. I grew up to an odd soundtrack of Chopin, Eddy Arnold, Brahms, Roger Miller, Beethoven and Tennessee Ernie Ford. She taught me how to improvise and figure out songs by ear.
At about 15 years old Mom caught me playing "Eine Kleine Nachtmusik" by ear and scolded me: "You canâ€™t improvise Mozart"
To which I replied,"I just did."
I call myself a rock and roll piano player because Iâ€™m really into Jerry Lee Lewis and other boogie guys but I do have Mozart and Thelonious in my DNA. In high school any guy with a guitar that could play Stairway to Heaven had a circle of girls around him so I was motivated but self taug…Read more...