In the Indie artist world, there’s no question that country/folk singer/songwriter Luanne Hunt has made her mark. Throughout her illustrious career, the Independent Superstars Hall of Fame inductee has built an impressive list of accomplishments, including scoring numerous No. 1 hits on Independent country music charts around the world. She is best known for her chart-topping single, “Christmas Without You,” which was recently named by Sweden’s largest daily newspaper, Dagens Nyheter, one of the top 25 Christmas songs of all-time. “Christmas Without You” also landed on two “Best of 2015 Female Country Holiday Songs” lists in the major online U.S. publications, Autostraddle and Truckers News. Hunt has been working hard at making quality music for twenty years. Her efforts paid off big time in 2007 when her CD, “Breaking Through,” produced two hit singles on U.S. and European Charts. The enchanting “Solace In The Wind” reached No. 1 on the European Country Music Association’s chart (Belgium) in July, 2010. Her latest single, “Texas Tears,” recently landed at No. 1 on Europe’s premier AirplayExpress chart and has remained in the top spot for several weeks. Along with her radio and chart success, Hunt also is a two-time American Songwriting Awards winner. We caught up with Luanne to talk about her newest single, “Texas Tears” below!
Tell us about your latest single, “Texas Tears”. What was the inspiration for this track? My husband Steve wrote “Texas Tears” one summer about 20 years ago. He was churning out tunes like crazy at the time and each one seemed better than the last.
I remember just loving “Texas Tears” and wound up taking our guitar/vocal demo to a friend of mine who ran a publishing company in Nashville. She loved it, too and wanted to sign it. Her business partner, however, argued with her about doing so because they had no financial stake in the writing of the tune. That was very disappointing to say the least.
We ultimately shelved the song and except for producing a male guitar/vocal demo of it in the late 1990s, it just sat in our catalog.
When I was getting ready to start recording my 13th studio CD a couple of months ago, I told my husband it was high time we dusted off “Texas Tears” and gave it a whirl.
What was the recording process like for this single? My keyboard player Hal Ratliff, who toured for several years with the Righteous Brothers and The Grass Roots, came up with the whole honkytonk blues feel and it couldn’t have been a better fit. Our past demos were pretty folky, so we were ecstatic over the new arrangement, as well as the opportunity to do something a little different.
Once the rest of my studio players heard Hal’s groove, they all became caught up in the energy. For a song where each instrument was tracked separately on different days, it sounds like everyone’s playing at the same time. I am very proud to have such talented and passionate musicians on my team.
Since releasing “Texas Tears,” it’s been getting quite a bit of airplay around the world. It also has been in the No. 1 spot for several weeks on a prominent Indie country music chart in the UK.
How would you compare “Texas Tears” to your past work(s)? When I was recording my first nationally-released CD in 2007 titled “Breaking Through,” I became extremely focused on developing a signature sound. Thankfully, my producer Eric Uglum, as well as my studio players, understood my vision. That being the case, it wasn’t long before things began to jell in that regard.
Much of the music I’ve recorded has a folk base with strains of country, bluegrass and 1970s pop. “Texas Tears” is the first time I’ve added the blues element and I’m really over the moon about this new direction. But it still sounds like me, which is good because I don’t think it’s a great idea to veer too far from the style you are known for.
Do you have plans to release a new full length? If so, when and what can listeners expect? “Texas Tears” will be included on a five or six song EP that I intend to release this fall. Three tracks are done and I have two more I’ll be working on over the next couple of months. One song, “So It Goes,” was written by my husband. And I wrote a tune titled, “Thinkin’ and Drinkin’ All Day,” which is a fun, tongue-in-cheek kind of thing. Both will have a country/blues feel.
What is next for you in 2016? I’m headed off to LeMars, Iowa at the end of August to accept a “Classic Country CD of the Year” award from the Rural Roots Music Commission for my album “Songs from the Valley.”
And I’m currently in production for a play I’ve written about John Denver’s life, which will be presented by the Rocky Mountain Foundation for the Performing Arts in Aspen, Colorado on October 14 and 15, 2016.
Beyond that, I’m reviewing Christmas songs right now, as I usually release at least one, original holiday tune every year. Christmas songs have been a real niche for me.