10 Questions with… Dusty Hundley
A few weeks ago I was in Nashville for a work conference when a co-worker and I, hoping to experience some of the city’s best live music on Broadway, passed by a bar called The Wheel. For those of you who don’t know or have never been (it was my first time too, lest you all think I’m well-traveled), Broadway is a street well-known for its Honky-Tonk bars and live music. And it just happened to be a few blocks from our hotel.
As we walked along the street, amazing live music coming from every venue, it was Dusty’s voice that caught our attention and made us turn around.
The Wheel is a small bar with a stage packed into a window at the very front of the street. It was a weeknight, so there were only about fifteen or so people inside, but Dusty and his band were rocking some classic cover tunes and having such a good time that the mood was infectious. A couple was dancing, people were cheering, and everyone was smiling. We stayed for the rest of his set and the moment he and the band launched into an energetic cover of 500 miles by The Proclaimers, it was over for me. I was a fan. And the interview below, which happened later via email, only served to solidify that feeling.
Not the same venue, but definitely the same fun vibe:
Without further ado, I give you 10 Questions with… Dusty Hundley
1 – You have quite a list of events on your website…do you normally play live six days a week?
Yes, some weeks seven. I really enjoy being on stage behind the microphone so I jump at every opportunity to play. “Play” is a funny term, way different than “work.” That makes it easy to do it 6 or 7 days a week.
2 – What’s that like—being on the scene in Nashville? (Or how’d you make your way there from VA)
I decided at 13 years old I wanted to sing when I grew up. At 19 I packed the car and moved to Nashville. The first two weeks I was in Nashville I stayed in the back of a friend’s old 50’s greyhound conversion bus just off of music row. I had $600 to get a place to stay and a fake ID to get into the clubs. Soon I started improving my songwriting, learning the business, and rubbing elbows with some of country music’s hit songwriters. I fronted a band (Wide Range) that signed a production deal in 2002, but it turns out country radio didn’t love that band. After several other stints in original bands I eventually made my way to lower Broadway quickly making a name for myself where I now make a living playing. Being famous would be nice but I am very content strapping on my guitar nearly every day and getting paid for it.
3 – Onstage you seem very chill and humble—how do you keep that kind of energy every night? Are some days harder than others?
It’s funny you say that. Once I had a gentleman approach me at a show and say “you’re pretty good, but we’re still here because my wife thinks you seem like a nice guy.” Arrogance and confidence are two different things that some people in the music business can’t discern. Just like everyone else, I have bad days, but that’s one reason why I sing. It’s a release for me. Music is easy to get lost in and when I step on stage all of life’s pains go away.
4 – Not going to lie. I was disappointed there was no album to buy. Any plans for one?
Over the years I have recorded many songs but I have never had a complete album finished at once. Yes, there are plans for one but you can’t force it. Some folks may sit down and pen a record in a week. I don’t write like the pros, 8am over a cup of joe. I write when the mojo is working. However, I do have a CD available at my shows that is a mix of songs I have recorded over the last several years.
5 –You have two MP3’s on your website, are those original songs?
Indeed, both songs were co-written with my longtime childhood friend Jacob Earles. We moved to Nashville and have written hundreds of songs together. “Goodbyes” is a song that tells our story about moving to Nashville, written in 2002. It is also the first song that drew attention to me as a singer/songwriter on music row.
6 – According to your Twitter bio (which is impressive by the way), you’re an entertainer / musician / vocalist / manager / booking agent / dancer AND activist for kids in Haiti. That’s a ton of hats. Do you get bored easily or do they all go hand in hand?
I know a little bit about a lot of things. I do not get bored. Entertainer encompasses the other nouns. The bio is some humor, sarcasm, and one thing I have become passionate about.
I have always been the adventurous type. I’ll go anywhere and do anything so when I had an opportunity to go to an orphanage in Jeremie, Haiti I jumped right in. I had no idea how much the kids there would affect me. I went to help them but they did way more for me. I have been 3 times and am currently making plans to return. When you go to the third world the things you see really change your perspective on your possessions, ideals, and the way you go about your day. Music is a universal language that transverses all cultures. They speak Creole but when we play for them there is a connection that is hard to describe. You just have to experience it.
8 – Favorite song you like to cover?
Chevy Van – Sammy Johns
9 – Anything you’d like for people to know about you that I haven’t already mentioned?
I’m an urban chicken farmer. True story.
10 – And lastly, where can people find you out on the lovely interwebs?
DustyCountry is where you can see my dates, listen to music, watch my youtube channel, and connect with me through social networking (Twitter & Facebook). Remember if you Google my name, everything on the internet is 100% true.
Thanks so much Dusty! (Both for the great show while I was in town AND for the great interview!)