Just when you think you have The Huntertones pegged, they take another left turn to surprise you. They're kind of jazzy sounding, with those rising, falling rhythms and horn work, but they create distinct, even hummable melodies. They bring on funky grooves that make you want to dance, and sometimes even beat-boxing, only to pull away to a spirited saxophone solo. Who are these guys, and how do they make instrumental music so fun and catchy?
Although based out of Brooklyn now, The Huntertones actually got their start in Columbus, Ohio, and reflect a humble marching-band spirit that echoes that midwestern beginning. The unique compositions and arrangements are a collaborative writing effort between the band's founders Jon Lampley, Chris Ott, and Dan White. Rather than slotting neatly into one genre, the musicians are equally inspired by jazz, funk, soul, hip-hop, R & B, and rock. This sounds like a messy concoction, but the band's shifts in tone and featured instrument occur surprisingly fluidly, and manage to showcase every talented member. The full lineup of The Huntertones lists eight other members pitching in on drums, guitar, keys, and bass, which helps explain the complex, rich sound the band builds to---before dropping away to that unconventional three-piece of saxophone, sousaphone, and trombone/beatbox.
Luckily, The Huntertones have made a name for themselves through live shows, as well as through their individual collaborations with other artists as varied as Snarky Puppy and the Glenn Miller Orchestra. Their self-titled EP (which boasts over a healthy half-hour of music) will be available on November 20th. Until then, you can sample their music and check out their upcoming show dates on their website.