After their debut into the Texas Country scene three years ago with the EP Worrying Kind, the Hunter Rea Band - Hunter Glaske (Vocals, Guitar), Adam Rea (Drums). John Allen Davidson (Bass), and Mason Hightower (Guitar) - is back with their first full-length album, Lovin’ Ain’t Free. This new project features eleven tracks that highlight the band's honest songwriting and unique sound of bluesy country. Recently, Hunter Glaske took some time to call and speak about the band's roots, the new album, and more.
Congratulations on the release of your first full-length album, Lovin’ Ain’t Free, which came out on July 7th. How did you all initially come together?
We got together in college. Adam and I played football together for two years, and when we called it quits with that we were like, ‘What’s next?’ We both played music, so we began playing parties here and there, and eventually, we decided we wanted to start a band. It was at that point we brought on John Allen. We played as a threesome for almost four years and then Mason joined us. We released Worrying Kind in 2012 and put out our first LP, Lovin Ain’t Free, a few weeks ago. We always wanted to put out a full album, and now we finally got to that moment. We’re excited to take it all in and see what people think about it.
The album draws on a variety of influences from Country, Rock, and the Blues.
We come from an assortment of different backgrounds. John comes from traditional country, Adam is a rocker, and I come from a conglomerate of genres. In the beginning, I was not a good singer at all, which I prove to people when I play them my recordings from freshman year in college (laughing), but the voice truly is a muscle and if you can hear music you can teach yourself to do anything.
As this is your first full-length, did you approach it any differently than you did the EP?
We decided to do an album for a couple of reasons. One of them being that the guys that we talk to, like Josh Abbott, have given us advice, and the other being that I don’t like to save music for the next time. I feel like with each song and album you get the opportunity to craft a sound and hone in on something that’s unique to you. That can be a daunting thing because there’s so much music out there, you can easily get lost in a box and slide into whatever is popular, but I think making a full-length album helped us develop our sound and hone in on who we are as a band.
Pat Manske was along to produce the project. Why did you want to work with him?
We paired up with him on the first EP, and it worked well. Before we began making this record, we spoke with him about our vision and he saw the passion we had for what we were trying to create and how serious we had become. We love working with Pat because he has such a good ear and is able to bring different things out of all of us. We’re lucky to have him.
Why did you decide to call the album Lovin’ Ain’t Free?
We wanted to correlate these songs together to give the album meaning and have it have a message. Going through, we identified love as the most powerful emotion on this album; it’s something that takes hard work and sacrifice, but ultimately transcends relationships. I lost a Grandad in the making of the album, there were some breakups, and there were some weddings, and all of these are different aspects of love that we combined into the title Lovin’ Ain’t Free which represents the album as a whole.
That theme is represented in the opener, “Lonesome Traveler." Why did you choose to begin the album with that one?
We thought the musical aspect of the song, it has this fun rock and blues feel, was a great jumping point for the album and would be the perfect opener.
“Find A Way” was recently released as the first single. Is there a story behind that song?
This is a cool one about two people understanding that if a relationship is right, then you’ll find a way to make it work, but if you both know it’s wrong, then you both understand that you need to walk away. I especially love the one verse where it talks about the older couple dancing the night away. I have this picture in my head of looking at the back of the ballroom seeing an old couple dancing, which to me is awesome because in my mind, I would like to be them someday.
It’s a sweet image for sure.
Where can people catch you live? Do you play regionally in Texas?
Adam, John, and myself all work for the same company and two of us are married, so we can’t quite hit the road whenever we like. We have to be smart about it, but it’s been good because it helps us think deeply about what we’re trying to do and it makes us realize how much we're willing to work for something.
When we do play, it’s mostly down I-35 in Austin, New Braunfels, Waco, Dallas, and East Texas, because that’s where I’m from. We were booking everything ourselves, but now we’re working with Tim Porter and he’s been an incredible help to us. We’ve also been entering contests to help get our name out there. This past year we won the Watermelon Thump Battle of the Bands where we got to open for William Clark Green and we won another contest where we got to play at ChiliFest, which was a dream come true.
It sounds like things are moving ahead for you.
Now that the record is out, is there anything else you’d like to accomplish this year?
The reality of setting goals changes as you progress. After we went through the process of making the album and now working with Tim, we realized that our dreams might actually be a reality – and that’s when things got serious. We want to be self-sufficient as a band so we can provide for our families while doing what we love. We’re also heavily involved in worship and church; our Christian background is important to us, so we always make reflection a goal.
Well, I wish you all the best. Finally, do you have anyone you would like to open for or tour with?
We got to open for Jonathan Tyler once and we’d love to do it again. We got to know William Clark Green, who is from the same hometown as I am, when we opened for him at the Watermelon Thump and he has been really nice to us, offering advice when he can. We’ve opened for some of the newcomers like Parker McCollum and were in a competition with Flatland Calvary and Dalton Domino a few years ago and being able to come up with these guys has created some really nice relationships. One thing I have learned is that it’s a family here and that’s incredibly special.
For more information on the Hunter Rea Band visit their official website
Find them on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Spotify
Purchase Lovin' Ain't Free HERE