Published on April 22nd, 2014 | by Jessica Mickey0
The Punch List with Hunter Park
Metronome Charleston‘s Punch List series puts local musicians on the spot with a questionnaire that touches on music, venues, gear, records, vices, and more. This week, musician, vocalist, and songwriter Hunter Parks of She Returns to War responds to the questionnaire.
1. What is your favorite local hang and why?
“For a hangout, [King] Dusko. They help me stay on track, and they help me ease up when all my work is done. Bar-wise, the Recovery Room. Those people are my bar family. They know it; I’d do anything for ’em.”
2. You know you’ve played an excellent show when…
“Lesley Carroll [of the new Jack of Cups Saloon on Folly Beach] pours me a shot, looks me in the eye, and asks how I’m doing.”
3. What was the last show you attended that really got you fired up in a good or bad way?
“Lily Slay plays the Brick House on Mondays. The one last week was real magic. She asked Rachel Kate, Scott Dence, and me to get up and sing. When I was walking to the car, I couldn’t stop smiling because I just felt that love. It might not sound intense and even cheesy, but I look at music like a home, and all these amazing people live in it and teach me things about how I’m approaching it every day. I’m grateful for that.”
4. Define your musical style in exactly 10 words.
“Jesse, get the good matches, think they’re over me again.”
[editor’s note: we asked her to elaborate on “matches,” and she replied, “Lil’ fire-starting sons of bitches. I don’t get mad, I get even.”]
5. What’s your theme song?
“I can’t really have one, but as of right now ‘Dream Girl’ by SUSTO, ‘Chile Song’ by Stefanie Bannister, and ‘I Was You’ by Jordan Igoe all are really important to me, because a) Local music is amazing, and b) I’m feeling some feelings right now about some stuff and some things.”
6. Gear-wise, what’s is your irreplaceable baby?
“I went to Austin with Ray Kay [Rachel Kate], and on the way, I found this old 1970s Hammond drum machine at a vintage store in Athens, Georgia — the second day of a three week tour, mind you. She was looking at me like I was nuts, but we plugged it into my amp, which was already taking up so much space in the car, and I fell in love.”
7. What’s the most overplayed album in your collection?
“The Valley Wind by Tyler Ramsey [of Band of Horses]. I saw him when I was in Charlotte and stayed up listening to his version of ‘All Through The Night.’ He’s incredible.”
8. When was the last time you were genuinely star-struck?
“Oh shoot, I’m so bad with celebrity faces that I’m sure the opportunity has been there, but I really can’t remember. Oh wait — so, there’s this guy downtown, name’s Crixus. And usually, when he’s walking downtown to the juice bar or running errands, people are swarming him for pictures and stuff. He’s a great dane, and I’m a huge fan.”
9. What’s your poison?
“How did you know about that? He deserved everything he ever had coming his way. Oh, you mean…? Okay. Dewar’s honey, rocks, splash of lemonade. Warning: it tastes like a cough drop.”
10. In 10 years, I will be…
“I hope I’m still surrounded by all these beautiful people. I still want to be writing and singing every day. Reminding people to carry Madam Zeroni up the mountain, or they will be cursed for always and eternity.”
When Hunter Park says that she believes local music amazing, she means it. When she’s not playing resonator guitar and banjolele and singing with bandmate singer/guitarist Jesse Ledford in She Returns From War or jumping in with Lily Slay at Brick House on Monday nights, it’s not uncommon to see her out supporting her peers at their own gigs.
Park began writing songs about six years ago and credits Charleston Musical Hall director (and musician in his own right) Charles Carmody for teaching her how to play. After watching Ledford perform a Jenny Lewis cover at Bean Night, Park asked if she’d be interested in joining forces.
Park describes She Returns From War’s sound as “abandoned house folk.” “We like to be a little spooky sometimes, and I like writing about life,” she says. “What once was, and why it isn’t that way anymore. Charleston is a good place for that.”
As Park and Ledford continue developing SRFW’s sound, they’ve been collaborating with local songwriter Joseph Coker on lap steel, Ben Widder of Rigours on drums, and David Beverly of the Rambling Fevers on lead guitar. They’re in the process of preparing for the recording of a second EP to release this summer and hope to have the full album out by January of next year.
This Wed. April 23, She Returns to War will perform at the Tin Roof with Athens-based folkie sweetheart Ruby the Rabbitfoot and local singer-songwriter Regina Ferguson. Admission is $5. They will also be performing at King Dusko on May 15.
For more on She Returns to War, check out facebook.com/shereturnsfromwar.
Park also asked us to mention the Girls Rock Charleston benefit show on Sat. April 26, which is being organized by Widder and will feature his own band Rigours, Hectorina, and Mike Collins, Jr. For more information, visit the event page.
Top photo by Sydney Beckner, styled by Jac Vanek. Band logo by Matt Shrock.
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