HARBOUR GRACE, NL — A Harbour Grace musician hopes to bring the spirit of classic music to a wider audience.
Chad Hunt lives in a saltbox home overlooking the harbour in south side Harbour Grace – where he houses a record collection that spans well into the hundreds – and prepares his tea in a kettle on a stovetop.
This is where he practices his music – a hobby he’s had since he was around 13.
But his passion for music began long before then.
Hunt, 25, has been teaching himself to sing his favourite songs for as long as he can remember, with an affinity for rock and country classics such as Johnny Cash and Patsy Cline.
“When you’re young, just going for a Sunday drive with your parents and they turn on the radio, you’d hear all these old tunes,” Hunt told the Compass. “I remember hearing ‘She Thinks I Still Care’ by George Jones, and my first time hearing that was when I was really young. I just instantly fell in love with it.
Of all the music played during his youth, country music stood out the most, he said.
“My uncle, Max Sheppard, always had a band, and I’d always see them playing. I remember telling him when I was young, ‘I’m gonna be up on stage one of these days, just like uncle Max.’ So now, here I am.”
Hunt’s musical endeavours have brought him to the main stage at the Sheila NaGeira theatre in Carbonear, where he entertains crowds by playing covers of the music he’s come to appreciate so much.
He hopes to incorporate some of his own songs as well, something he’s been trying his hand at recently.
“One of the best feelings in the world is to hear a song you love for the first time.”
One such show is set to take place on Friday, Feb. 9, where Hunt plans to play some of what he calls “Jukebox Oldies,” hoping to bring the audience back to the music of the past and possibly introduce some younger members of the crowd to music they may not be exposed to, naming acts such as The Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly and Elvis Presley as those on his radar.
With such an admiration for the tunes of years gone by, Hunt has come to rely on record players as the best way to experience music – through the sound of clean vocals and raw instruments, lacking any reliance on technology to alter the sound.
“Of course, that’s not to say music these days isn’t good – I enjoy what I enjoy, you know? But there’s just something special about hearing that raw sound off the vinyl.
“What you heard is what you got,” Hunt said. “You had to be good to record back in the day. There was no autotune or any enhancements to fix it up. It’s more natural, and as close to hearing the raw talent as you can get.”
Having never taken music lessons, Hunt’s passion drove him to pursue his dream. As a young boy trying to teach himself to sing in his room, although he wasn’t pleased with the initial result he wouldn’t let himself give up. Over the years, Hunt found his voice and a sound he was happy with and picked up the guitar to accompany the vocals.
The result is the musical style he’s come to rely on during his past five years of performing.
Although this is not Hunt’s first time playing for an crowd in Carbonear, he explained to the Compass he would like to expand his performances even further in the years to come.
“I’ve just always loved music, my whole life. I’d like to do even more performances in the future, because I like to bring people back with the music, and maybe even introduce some younger people to this kind of music,” he said.
“One of the best feelings in the world is to hear a song you love for the first time. It’s never the same after that, and there are so many great songs out there just waiting to be rediscovered.”
Tickets for Hunt’s Friday performance can be purchased through the Princess Sheila NaGeira theatre.
The performance is set to begin at 7:30 p.m.