James Hunnicutt on recording w/ Jayke Orvis, the Winterland Tour and life @ 36

30 Dec

~’The Winterland Tour’ | Flyer @ myspace.com/jamesabilly~

Earlier this month — a few days before his 36th birthday — local old school sanger James Hunnicutt was flown out to the East Coast to play a few tunes w/ Jayke Orvis (of the .357 String Band/Goddamn Gallows fame), for Orvis’ “forthcoming solo album ‘It’s All Been Said.’

Afterwards, Orvis had some nice things to say about Hunnicutt on the alt country underground internet radio station Outlaw Radio Chicago — somethin’ to the effect: ‘we could all learn a lot from a guy like James Hunnicutt’‘he’ll make you a better person just by hangin’ out with him.’

SavingCountryMusic.com calls Hunnicutt “the continuously most underrated talent in the underground country world.”

Here’s some of James’ thoughts on the east coast/Jayke Orvis experience…

See Hunnicutt tonight (Dec. 30) w/ Trailorpark Tweed and Handlebar Mustangs and tomorrow (Dec. 31) w/ Sabbath Tribute Luke’s Wall @ Winterland, kicking his ‘Winterland Tour.’ (Listen to the Outlaw Radio podcast w/ Jayke Orvis @ savingcountrymusic.com, and see pictures from the recording sessions @ the Section 8 Productions Myspace)

Are you/have you ever been a big .357 or Goddamn Gallows fan?

JH: “I’ve had the pleasure of performing with & getting to know each band over the last 4-5 years so the anwser to your question would be- YES & YES! ;-)”

How’d the opportunity to do this record come up?

JH: “My Brother D (Darren Dorlarque from Section 08 Productions Montana) just started a new record label called Farmageddon Records and had mentioned the idea of launching it with the release of Jayke Orvis’ solo album (Tentatively titled “It’s All Been Said”). Jayke started .357 String Band & played with them until earlier this year & now plays in The Goddamn Gallows. He’s an amazing guy 1st & foremost but is also one helluva’ picker & a great songwriter to boot. When Darren asked if I’d be down to take part & play some guitar/lend some back up vocals I flipped at the opportunity.”

Last week on Outlaw Radio Chicago Jayke said something about how ‘certain other bands that you meet up with on the road you, just have a kindred spirt with…’ with regard to this album’s collaborators, where did that kind kinship develop for the two of you?

JH: “He’s totally right on with that. There are a lot of pretenders out there who are quite self serving, arrogant & rude with how they conduct themselves & I can generally spot ’em from a mile away but then there are people like Jayke who carry themselves in a humble & genuine manner. I am very much the same way so we hit it off really well from the 1st time we met. We initially met 3-4 years ago when .357 were playing the “bar-side” of El Corazon while The Swinos were playing the main stage side. We both heard tidbits of each other’s sets(I think they did 2) & practically ran into one another after the music was over whereas we were both intent on meeting one another & giving each other props for the music we’d heard from one another. We’ve shared several bills over the years & it’s been that way ever since. We’d always be looking for one another to give some love & catch up. Jayke is one of the most sincere, talented & bad-ass people I’ve met in my travels & that’s saying a lot.”

He also had quite a few good things to say about you as a person, on the other side of things what kind of influence have you had from Jayke or .357 or the Gallows?

JH: “Jayke & The Gallows are both really special & fresh commodities in this day & age. Blue Grass & The “Billy genres” are things that I love musically but both have become quite stale & scenester oriented over the years. Jayke brought an attitude, style & image that helped make .357 so much more than your average bluegrass band & I feel that The Gallows do very much the same for the psychobilly/rockabilly genres. You can’t pigeon hole them with a single label & that’s refreshing. I was super bummed when I heard that Jayke & .357 had parted ways but I ultimately think that it was meant to happen. I think Jayke has found his home & each of those guys(Jayke & Gallows) are just the coolest & craziest dudes you could ever meet. They’re gonna’ make each other that much better. Oh, yeah… I’m supposed to be telling you how they’ve influenced me 🙂 Their will to be different & not be another one of those a-typical bands that make me wanna’ vomit along with being cool guys has definitely had a big influence on me. They also strengthen my resolve to be very much the same in that sense. When I meet others who are doing what they love sheerly because they love it & honestly don’t give a shit what the masses think it warms my heart. Jayke & The Gallows have both made some of the best music that I’ve heard in recent years & I’m stoked to hear what they’ll do together.”

How would you describe the process of this recording — I heard something about a plane ride to Virginia, poker games and The Wayward Drifters??

JH: “That pretty much sums it up. 🙂 Darren got in touch with me about a week before the recording began & informed me that it was indeed going down & that they planned on flying me out there. Jayke emailed me a few demos, they got me a ticket and then a few days later we were smokin’ & jokin’, rehearsing the songs & playing poker ’til way to early into the morning 😉 This went on for 2 nights & then we recorded as much as we could in the course of 2 & a half days.
I’ve never jumped into a recording project on such short notice while being so green as to what’s going on & with what I’d ultimately be doing in the context of things. I just knew that I had love for everyone involved & I also knew that there was mad talent between all of them so it had to be great. It’s going to be an amazing album when all is said & done. Jayke deserves this & it’s something that I am already proud of. I’m sure that people are going to love it when they hear it because aside from how great the songs are & how good the playing is the heat & soul is just oozing from it.”

What was it like hangin’ out with those cats in general?

JH: “It was tons of fun. We’re all a bunch of misplaced misfits & goofballs who happen to feel right at home when we’re together so we had a ball just dorkin’ out & rockin’ out for the most part. There was some stress though. There are many good reasons why bands take so long to do an album. Building Rome in a day isn’t easy & crunching that hard with such little sleep takes it’s toll. I think we all had a metl down at some point. It’s just too much data to process for the brain. We rebounded though & that type of thing is to be expected at times when you’re recording anyway.”

I saw you playing guitar in almost every picture from the session, what’d you do on the album?

JH: “Awww… The Poker pics! Those are from when Jayke was showing us the songs those 1st two nights & we were jamming around on everything from bluegrass to gypsy jazz. Those took place at Johnny Lawless house. As far as my role in the album goes I played about half of the rhtythm acoustic guitar tracks, all of the acoustic leads & all of the electric guitar (rhythm & lead) to this point. I aalso sang some back up vocals & lead on one other. Things are always subject to change though whereas each of us is sinking their teeth into the rough mix & undoubedtly getting tons of new ideas. Aside from that these are Jayke’s songs & we mutually want him to be happy with what we contribute to them.”

When can we get a copy of the album?

JH: “The album should be done by February of 2010. We’ll have it for sale on each of our websites/myspaces & will be looking for a distro deal as well so it should be easy to pick up once it’s available.”

Also stoked to see the upcoming Winterland Tour — starting @ Winterland (Dec. 30-31), then down the West Coast — anything lined up for the East Coast?

JH: “I love Winterland, it’s winter time & I was born on the 1st day of winter so I figured 2010 Winterland Tour fit nicely 🙂 It’s just a short jaunt to kick off the year for me. I’ve been hitting the same areas pretty heavily over the last two years & have gotten flack from fans in other locales & I can’t blame ’em for that. Throughout 2010 I’m planning on playing every other state that I’ve yet to play in at this point & hopfefully doing a European Tour as well so we’ll see what happens.”

What else do you have coming up in the New Year?

JH: “In addition to “It’s All Been Said” coming out I’ll be doing tons of touring & plan on releasing 1 if not 2 more of my own albums…”

And, Happy ‘New Year’ by the way… got any wisdom from age 36?
JH: “Happy New Year to you as well Brother! This last year has been the best year of my life as have each of the 2 or 3 years leading up to it so I’m expecting 36 to be even better. I believe that attitude is everything in life & the secret to happiness is to not grow up while living our dreams to the best of our ability.”

Here’s the line-up for Jayke’s album tentatively titled-
“It’s All Been Said”
Jayke Orvis- Vocals, Mandolin, Guitar
James Hunnicutt- Guitars, back up vocals (lead vocals on one tune)
Johnny Lawless- Upright Bass
Banjer Dan- Banjo
Geo Valentine- Turbo Diddly & Cigar Box Steel
J.B Beverley- Back up vocals
Darren Dorlarque- Back up vocals

James Hunnicutt kicks off ‘The Winterland Tour’ Dec. 30 and 31 @ Winterland, 1220 Sylvan Way in Bremerton… Dec. 30, he opens for Trailorpark Tweed and Handlebar Mustangs and Dec. 31 he’ll be a part of the Black Sabbath Tribute Luke’s Wall w/ Stone Axe, Madmartigan and Robot Pie for New Year’s Eve…. More @ myspace.com/jamesabilly.


One Response to “James Hunnicutt on recording w/ Jayke Orvis, the Winterland Tour and life @ 36”

  1. Saving Country Music December 31, 2009 at 12:22 am #

    Cool site you got here. Thanks for the links!

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