Nashville recording artist Pete Hunt and his official band, the Southern Branded Band, have played in just about every venue you can think of. While the band does play cover songs, they also have original songs that Pete has written and his band members have perform.
All of their first album songs can be found on “Alligator Alley“, which was recorded at Treasure Island Studios in Tennessee. Song titles include, “She Can’t Stop Drinking About Me”, and the title track “Alligator Alley“, just to name a few.
Pete is presently working on his second album, “Good Ole’ Boys”, which is a tribute to all the country singers that influenced him when he was growing up. This album will be released in the near future. This album will have Pete’s most recent hit,”Do You Wanna Cowboy” along with others still in production.
Pete Hunt grew up around the music industry, coming from a background of singers. Both of his parents were performers. Pete’s father was on the road for 19 years with the band “Tony V and The Nashville Express”, playing guitar and singing with big names such as Johnny Paycheck and Merle Haggard.
When his father finished his time on the road, Pete explains that his father not only started the band, RUSH, but was also the band’s drummer and base player.
Carrie, who Pete calls hi “Better half”, is his side, sharing this dream. She manages all operations of this journey. Bookings, advertising, and traveling. “She does it all”, Pete says with a smile. Carrie explains that Pete told her the story about how he used to grab his mother’s guitar and hide in the closet. He’s play for hours and was too shy to do it in public.
Pete says he didn’t even know he could write a song until about 10 years ago. When he first started writing, he wrote from his own personal experiences and what he liked about them. Now, Pete writes more “country rock” as he describes it, and about what is relevant today. Pete can write and sing, but also plays acoustic and electric guitar. Carrie adds, “He can play some mad spoons too!”
Zac Trenta and his daughter, Sarah, who is Pete’s biggest fan, invited him to be a part of the film “The Legend of Kate Kensington”. Pete said that Sarah dragged her dad through a huge crowd at a Travis Tritt concert to bring him over to meet Pete and the band. Zac is scheduled to shoot a music video for the band. Pete said the movie script “blew his mind”!
Carrie, Pete’s wife, says that she is excited about the movie and for everyone in the film. Pete Hunt wrote and sang the official song “The Legend” for the movie, but also plays Sheriff Raymond in the film. While his acting skills are fairly new, he is not a newcomer to the music industry.
Pete shared the song has a “mystic feel to it…almost a blue grass sound, with a spooky sense in the music, unlike any song I have ever done. I put the feel of the movie into the lyrics and sound.”
When asked how he felt the experience of being an entertainer and song writer were going to compare to being an actor or movie star, Pete explained, “I’ve been on some big pinnacles lately with music. We opened for Travis Tritt, Andy Griggs, Confederate Railroad, Easton Corbin, Jerrod Neimann and some bigger named artists.
For the last 10 years, I’ve been playing music. If being in front of 50k people didn’t shake me, I don’t think anything will.” Pete has been in front of the camera with his band, and when asked how he feels about being in front of the camera as opposed to being behind the mic, Pete says he has been in front of the camera before, just not in this capacity. “I think it’s just going to come naturally, and it’s actually more exciting. I’ve never been put to the test on an actual film.”
Pete is originally from Houston, Texas, and now calls Brooksville, Florida, home. He has aspirations to one day write his own movie based on his song “Alligator Alley”, his first song played on the radio. This song was written about his frequent travels from Texas to Florida, after listening to the Legend of the Willy Swamp, by Charlie Daniels.
Alligator Alley is the first song he wrote and recorded at Jason Aldeen’s studio – Treasure Isle Studios in Nashville, TN. Pete recalls when recording his first album in Nashville, Pete sent Carrie running to the car for some paperwork and as she turned the corner, she ran right into Jason Aldean in the parking lot.
Carrie smashed right into to the poor guy, plowed right over him with all her paperwork and folders flying all over the parking lot. Pete said, “Carrie too was making hits while I was”.
Pete has a lot of musical influences, but idolizes George Strait. He said that George is charismatic, and he has always gravitated toward him and his music. “Anything he sings, I can relate to”. I was really kind of shy when I first started singing. The first six years were trial and error, as I was trying to find myself as an artist.
Now, my band plays a mix of music for all ages, although they do tend to be more on the country side. “Music is about the fun.” Pete shared, “I will probably end up like a Jimmy Buffet/Zac Brown kind of a country singer, just because I like having fun with the music. What drives me with my music is the fact that it was a friend to me growing up. It kept me company when I had no friends, and it’s a friend I want to share with as many people as I can.”
Pete believes everything happens for a reason, and feels that his journey with music seemed like someone else had the steering wheel. “Once I accepted that,” he said, “things really just started to take off, not only with the opportunities, but with the music itself.” His role in the film actually came through his music, which he believes there is a stronger force helping guide his words for his songs.
Written by Dawn Horton / Staff writer for Citrus County Life Magazine
Photos courtesy of Joanne Crowley / Citrus County Life Magazine
Story contributor Kathy Sayadoff / Citrus County Life Magazine