Prior to the Country Night Lights festival, my exposure to Sam Hunt was limited to his most popular songs "Take Your Time" and "Leave the Night On." (We heard them at least 300 times on our road trip this summer.) Like so many attractive, male singer-songwriters, his fan base is mostly shrieking young women. While that's a demographic I don't have much faith in, I have to say the girls are right about this one.
Hunt performed his rhythm and blues-infused country songs with the passion of a true storyteller. While his radio-friendly hits fit into the country genre, the rest of his music is really a sound of its own. The song "Ex To See" is a great example of Hunt breaking through genre boundaries. There's a banjo on top of a dance beat on top of Hunt's signature, quick-tongued talk-singing, with a few wailing, climactic blues guitar riffs here and there. (The ones that make my heart hurt in a good way.) Hunt's high energy and dynamic with his band made for a fun and refreshing show. In addition, his guitarist Tyrone is on another level, like a Gary Clark Jr. level. (Whoa, I know.) You would think these guys have been touring together for ten years. If you have a chance to see Sam Hunt and his talented band, don't miss it.
Photos taken by Katie Harriman in Athens, Ohio on September 26, 2015.