The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Family Musicians Capturing The House

By Virginia Ross

From the first electrifying note struck on the keyboard, the Hunt Family captured the audience. Those of us who came of age in the 1960's were transported back to the era of folk music and The New Christy Minstrels.

Four violins, three guitars, drum set, and a calypso drum involved the audience nodding to the music of a resounding beat. Many of the numbers presented were original compositions written by the family but recalled the feel of a bygone era of the Joan Collins, the Kingston Trio and as mentioned The New Christy Minstrels.

This Chesapeake, Virginia, extraordinary family-twins, Jessi and Jenni; Josh; Jonathan; Jordan; Justin; JJ; Sandy (Mom) and Clint (Dad)-wowed the audience with the power of their voices and the versatility of their talent and the ability to play many instruments as well as Irish Step Dance.

The love of music found the children beginning at an early age to learn a variety of instruments, but their talent is not limited to only this calling as Josh, the 20 year old, represented the United States in the World Championships of Irish Step Dancing in Glasgow, Scotland and he was joined on stage by his brothers to showcase their ability later in the show.

Jonathan (19) is the songwriter and keyboard player as well as being a five-time world-ranked Irish step dancer. Jordan (17), the drummer, carried the beat no matter whether it was fast or slow. Justin (15) changed from violin to guitar to percussion throughout the concert and JJ (14) like the rest of the family switched instruments from song to song.

The twins, Jessi and Janni (23), did it all from announcing song, fiddling, dancing, etc.

Their reprise of the Elvis tune, "Can't Help Falling in Love" captured the audience with their version of this well known ballad.

Besides touring internationally as well as all over the United States, the family went to Haiti and offered a workshop to the children. Last night, they performed a favorite all those children-"Lifting the Sea."

As music does, the Haitian children ended up teaching them a Caribbean version of this song adding hand movements and dance. On stage the group added the ukulele, tambourine and calypso drum to all the rest.

Ending the first set with "Catharsis," a Celtic reel, found the soulful violin joined by a variety of instruments progressing to a frantic pace with the addition of a wild Celtic dance; the audience love it! The beat vibrated within each and every person and the music swirled round and round.

After the intermission, "This Is Love," an original number, soulfully captured the suffering of true love. So many songs and such an enjoyable evening-if you did not attend, you missed a night of great entertainment ending with the twins singing a heart rendering version of "Danny Boy," the boys step dancing like you never seen it, everyone playing a Johnny Cash favorite, "Folsom Prison," and an audience demanded encore of the Charley Daniel's "Devil Went Down to Georgia."

The next Civic Music concert is March 19th with The Water Coolers on stage.