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Charlie Hunt | The Cabin Hunter's Mandolin

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Folk: Progressive Folk Folk: Contra Dance Moods: Type: Instrumental
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The Cabin Hunter's Mandolin

by Charlie Hunt

Mandolin: Folk, New Acoustic/Contra Dance
Genre: Folk: Progressive Folk
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. String of Trucks Medley: String of Trucks/The Phoenix/ Empty Poc
4:38 album only
2. Horizonto
3:24 album only
3. September Waltz Medley: September Waltz/ The Old Madeira Waltz
4:07 album only
4. Big John McNiel's Medley: Big John McNeil's/John Sharp's Tune
4:43 album only
5. Samanda Lynn
4:19 album only
6. Charmy Chaplin
3:40 album only
7. Sunny Side of Heaven
3:10 album only
8. The Italian Polka/Entrance of the Gladiators
3:03 album only
9. Here Comes the Sun
2:48 album only
10. Fairbanks Medley: Fairbanks/Lost in the Loop/The Gypsy
4:58 album only


Album Notes
Charlie Hunt is a mandolin player living in Fairbanks, the Northern most city in Alaska. His new CD, The Cabin Hunter’s Mandolin, is Charlie’s first CD. It is an eclectic blend of instrumental tunes selected and played by Charlie with help from some of Fairbanks Alaska’s finest acoustic musicians. The CD is a reflection of Charlie’s ranging interest in varied music genres: folk, rock, new acoustic and his experience playing contra dance music. Originally hailing from Rhode Island, Charlie has been living and playing music in Fairbanks for 26 years. While living in Rhode Island, he took classical mandolin lessons from the renowned fretted instrument teacher Hibbard Perry. Mr. Perry had recently founded the Providence Mandolin orchestra and asked Charlie to join playing second mandolin. Charlie’s interest in musical arrangement and harmony stemmed from playing in the second mandolin section of the orchestra. Charlie later worked in Germany and played in The Jolly Beggarmen with Irish and Scottish musicians. This band morphed into Puzzle which included a German folk couple. The German couple sometimes sang in Platt Deutsch, or Low German spoken in the lowlands of Northern Europe. In 1982, Charlie transferred to a position in Fairbanks, Alaska. He arrived in Fairbanks with little more than the clothes on his back, a civil service job and his mandolin. He was immediately absorbed into a thriving folk music community. He became a member of the Cabin Hunters, a loose association of musicians interested in Celtic Music. The band was named after an Irish tune, and because the members of the band were desperate to find a place to live in the post pipeline era in Fairbanks. In 1983, Charlie found his cabin which he still lives in to this day. The rest of the members followed their dreams outside of Alaska.



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Charles Hunt

News Miner interview with Charlie Hunt
On the Hunt for music? Check out 'Cabin Hunter's Mandolin'
By Glenn BurnSilver
Published Friday, February 13, 2009 in the Fairbanks Daily News Miner, Fairbanks, Alaska
FAIRBANKS — Mandolin player Charlie Hunt has spent years playing other people’s songs, appearing as a sideman on various recordings, and performing in numerous bands. Now, Hunt has decided to step out front with his debut recording, “The Cabin Hunter’s Mandolin.”
Hunt said the project took three years to complete, but in reality, it is based on a lifetime of work. The fact that he’s only now getting around to releasing the album suggests the simple enjoyment of playing music was more important to him than the posterity of attaching one’s name to the songs.
“I just wasn’t ready to do something,” Hunt explained of why it took him so long to finally produce an album, recorded locally at 10th Planet Studios. “Usually people who record have a bunch of tunes they wrote. I’m not a composer. There is only one original tune on the album. The main thing people do is record their own music, but I don’t write music. It took me a while to collect a bunch of tunes I thought were important to me, even though I didn’t write them.”
True, he’s playing other people’s songs on the album, save one, but this time he’s doing it his way, with backing from some local musicians, including his wife Nancy Bayer, Will Putnam, Pat Fitzgerald, Robin Dale Ford, Trudy Heffernan, his mandolin student Brendan Cox, and others. Some of these musicians will be present when Hunt formally unveils his album at a CD release party Saturday at the College Coffeehouse.
“I am trying to rope some of my friends to come out and play,” he said. “There’s going to be friends playing with me from different parts of bands that I’ve played with.”
The album is rich and fluid with a Celtic flavor — nearly a given considering Hunt’s Fairbanks music career began in 1982 in the Celtic band The Cabin Hunters — but has the feel of a laid-back, easy going sunshiney porch session. Hunt mixes in several traditional waltzes, old school bluegrass, gypsy folk, and even George Harrison’s “Here Comes The Sun.”
“The tunes I like are somewhat unusual for stringed instrument plays, though mandolin players tend to like things that are a little unusual,” he said with a laugh. “I like a lot of music, and when I hear something I like, I search (it) out.”
There is also an “Italian-style” polka on the album.
“Originally I got that tune from a fiddler who used to live in Fairbanks,” Hunt recalled of the polka that he’s enjoyed playing for years. “He said he learned it from his father, who was of Italian extraction, so he called it ‘The Italian Polka.’ I don’t know the real name or the real source for it. But I think it is Italian. I know having an Italian polka is a little unusual” on an acoustic album.
When asked why the album is all instrumental, Hunt let out a light laugh, making it clear no one wants to hear him sing lead. He’s happy to provide harmonies, however.
“I’m not a very good singer,” he said simply. “My main interest is mandolin playing and instrumental tunes. I could have got other singers to sing, but I wanted to just have the mandolin be the voice on the whole album.”
While that laid-back feel is a constant on the album, the aforementioned songs showcase Hunt’s interest in a wide variety of musical styles.
“Some like it, other’s say it’s too scattered, but it is what it is,” he said, proudly defending his work. “I had that rock in my shoe to do a CD, so I did, and did it exactly the way I wanted.”
Hunt admits it was “fairly expensive” to make the album, and getting into studio time wasn’t always easy, but he’s enjoying the glow of his first completed album, which he has been excitedly giving out to his friends. He is, however, unsure if he’ll ever make another album.
“Who knows if I’ll ever pass this way again and make another CD,” he said “To a certain extent I spared no expense getting it exactly the way I wanted. I wanted to do it right. I don’t know if I’ll make a lot of money (selling it), but I’ve had a lot enjoyment with it already. Of course, I hope somebody discovers it and uses it for a movie and I become fabulously rich, but I don’t think that’s probably going to happen. But I’m certainly glad I made it.”
What: Charlie Hunt CD release party
When: 7:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: College Coffeehouse, 3677 College Road
Admission: Free
Contact features writer Glenn BurnSilver at 459-7510