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  • Writer's pictureMary Ann

Thirsty Thursday Featuring Luanne Hunt

Thank you for chatting with us! What song that you have recorded means the most to you and why? In 2022, I wrote and recorded a song titled “Midnight Rain & Roses,” which tells the story about my mother receiving a delivery of a dozen roses on Valentine’s Day from my stepfather, who had died three days earlier. They had a very rocky relationship but there was a lot of love there, too. So my mother naturally had conflicting feelings when she received the flowers. To me, the story is like something out of a movie and one I felt had to be written. The musical backdrop is equally as compelling, featuring spectacular drums by Latin Grammy Award-winning drummer, Heitor Lima.

Where do you draw inspiration from when writing? There are stories all around us worth writing about, so I always have my eyes and ears open for that. Also, sometimes I’ll get an idea out of a conversation I’m having with someone. My fiance Jim and I have lots of incredibly deep conversations and since we’ve been together, I have written quite a few songs inspired by things we’ve talked about. Beyond that, I frequently wake up in the morning with ideas for songs rolling around in my head. It’s interesting how these topics just show up seemingly out of nowhere. This phenomenon has made me realize that every song I write truly is a gift and comes from something, or someone, greater than all of us.

Is there one song in particular you're most excited about people hearing? My first unreleased demo album in 1995, “Mood Swings,” featured a song written by my late husband Steve Hunt titled, “He’s In Paradise With A Pair Of Dice.” I knew it was something special but when we shared it with friends and family, they could only focus on the silly title and had no appreciation for the sheer majesty of the song. I have thought about re-recording it over the years and finally decided to unearth it for my latest album, “Miles & Memories.” I changed the title to “The Vice” but left the hook line intact. I also rewrote some of the lyrics to strengthen the story and set it to a minimalistic musical backdrop with solo piano and violin. It finally sounds like the masterpiece it is and whenever I listen to it, I am just swept away. I hope others who hear it will have the same experience.

Did you have a musical mentor? If so, who was it and how did they influence you? My longtime producer Eric Uglum (Alison Krauss, Ralph Stanley, Sara Watkins) was my musical mentor for so many reasons. When we first started working together, he told me that if I sang every note in perfect pitch, people would be moved by it because of the perfection, like it was straight out of Heaven or something like that. It was then I realized that the greatest artists in the world from my era (Frank Sinatra, Karen Carpenter, James Taylor, John Denver, etc.) sang to that level, which is what made them legends as opposed to all those vocal gymnastics you hear from artists today.

Eric’s advice set me on a mission to perfect my pitch and I have worked very hard at it over the years. The payoff came a few years ago when I was laying down vocals for an album I was recording at Omni Studios in Nashville. During one of the sessions, the engineer stopped recording in the middle of my performance just to tell me that out of all the artists he had ever worked with, including some of the biggest names in country music, he had never heard anyone sing with such perfect pitch. His compliment meant more to me than any award I could ever receive.

At the end of the day, what do you hope is the message of your music? What do you hope people take away from your songs? I hope that when people listen to my music they are inspired to march to the beat of their own drummer. I have always prided myself on my originality, as well as my determination to stay true to myself even if it’s not the most popular thing to do. Many artists these days seem to work extra hard to copy what is considered commercial and consequently, all the music starts sounding the same.

The artists I listened to growing up in the 1960s and 70s were all uniquely different from one another. We had such an incredible variety of sounds to enjoy and I want to give my listeners that same type of experience.

What is an example of a menu you would prepare if I came over? I recently took up an interest in Indian cooking since I love the food so much. I’ve been making lots of Indian-inspired dishes lately and one of my favorite meals is Butter Chicken, Aloo Gobi, Basmati Rice and Garlic Naan.

What is your favorite sandwich? I love all-veggie sandwiches and years ago, I invented one that has turned out to be a staple for me. It consists of whole grain bread, garlic hummus, roasted red peppers, avocado, thinly-sliced cucumbers and cheddar cheese.

If you could share a meal with any four individuals, living or dead, who would they be? How awesome it would be to sit down to a meal with my biggest musical influences, John Denver, John Lennon, Brian Wilson and the late great producer for the Beatles, Sir George Martin. Imagine the conversation at that dinner table!

What's your favorite family recipe? My Italian grandmother on my father’s side was known far and wide for her spaghetti sauce (or “gravy” as she called it). It’s a very simple recipe

consisting of one chicken bouillon cube dissolved in two cups of hot water, two 8 oz. cans of plain tomato sauce, one 14.5 oz can of diced tomatoes, two 6 oz. oz can of tomato paste, one small onion, one clove of chopped garlic, one tbsp. Italian seasoning, one tablespoon of sugar and one tsp. of sea salt. It’s delicious on its own but I cook turkey meatballs in it, which gives it a wonderful flavor.

Food Company I’d Like To Be Sponsored By: Being someone heavily into nutrition, and also an amateur chef, I shop for wholesome and organic foods free of GMOs, artificial flavors and other ingredients that are potentially harmful to one’s health. I would be thrilled to be sponsored by a company like Simple Mills, whose mission is to advance agricultural principles, elevate farmers and empower people to eat food that nourishes their bodies and at the same time, tastes delicious.


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