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Collingwood, Ontario, Canada | SELF

Collingwood, Ontario, Canada | SELF
Band Country Adult Contemporary




"Sweet & Pure"

Local duo Hunnay! blends musical talent and originality to perform song you won't soon forget. Harmonic with an edge, raw and instantly memorable describe the folk-rock acoustic sound of indie female duo Karen Witt and Laura Somers, whose band name, Hunnay! (inspired by the way soul singer James Brown used to growl the word "honey") couldn't be more fitting.
Listing as their influences "raindrops randomly dripping from holes in the ceiling" and describing their music as "froeign yet familiar," Witt and Somers combine tight harmonies, sophisticated lyrics and can't-get-the-tune-out-of-your-head original scoring to make the music of Hunnay! a seductively compelling listen. Writing and composing all their own original material ("real life stories inspire our songs"), the Collingwood-based pair delivers up an arresting yet effortless blend of voice, guitar and mandolin.
"Our music is really about listening to the words, to the story," says singer-songwriter Witt, who co-authors and composes with Somers. "The vocals and harmonies are there to help people who want to listen."
The lyrics are raw and extremely personal. "Sometimes you feel a bit naked," admits Somers. Witt adds, "It's an expose. People close to us know our songs are about real life-sometimes it's too real!" While the lyrics may be raw, the pair's close harmonies and melodic scored infuse their music with a lingering aftertaste that stays with the listener well after the set is over.
Escaping Toronto and Hamilton respectively for Collingwood back in the "90s, the two started their musical odyssey together, in their vernacular, "a-sittin' in the kitchen. Session after session. Deep thinkin', coffee drinkin'..." Sharing lyrics each had written, they started 'putting it together' and adding harmonies. "We got chills singing together," recalls Witt. "Our voices really meld together and you don't get that all the time."
Definitely a gifted blending (they have been likened to the critically acclaimed The Be Good Tanyas), their voices resonate together so naturally they no longer rehearse their harmonies - "they just come together effortlessly."
With two CDs out and a third in production, the smooth sound of Hunnay! will be front and centre this summer with the duo busking in downtown Collingwood as part of a live street-entertainment project by the Downtown BIA.
The pie is sliced pretty thinly in the Southern Georgian Bay region when it comes to the number of venues available for singer-songwriters to ply their trade. Despite the neighbourhood shortage, the duo prefers not to play in bars for the very reason that "the audience is no into listening"... especially to something new and different.
"Locally a lot of places want an act with cover songs, not original material," adds Somers. "People want to know the music, they want to party. So that's a bit of a challenge for us." While music is their passion, Witt and Somers have - like nearly all the musical talent in the area - day jobs as well. Their seasonal gardening/design business called KaBloom pays the bills in the spring and summer months, and in winter they bartend at Blue Mountain.
Currently they also host a regular 'gig' - a weekly 'open mic' night at The Admiral's Post pub in Collingwood every Tuesday, which showcases their own talents in bookend sets while freely inviting anyone from the floor with three songs and a desire to try them out on a friendly and supportive audience to come up and play. What ensures is pure magic - a spontaneously warm sharing of musical skill and some incredible live jamming by talented musicians from the area.
Don't miss the chance to hear Witt and Somers perform live - their sound is indeed pure Hunnay!
- On The Bay


Hunnay! Live at Monsoon's
Hunnay! The Other Side Of The Coin



After years of performing individually, Laura Somers and Karen A. Witt joined forces and began a partnership that would become "HUNNAY!". Lee Chomiak, former drummer of Alannah Myles, caught the girls performing one night and found himself drawn in by their amazing vocals. Lee started working closely with Laura and Karen producing and recording their first full length C.D. "The Other Side Of The Coin". In the process Lee became the bands full time drummer. The addition of keyboardist, vocalist, Diane Suite who is classically trained proved to be just what the band needed. Diane has worked with the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra as well as performing with a number of bands of various genres. Erik Vandeweedhof has since joined the band and brought with him vast musical knowledge. His years of experience on both bass and guitar have been a huge asset to the project. Working with great talents on guitar such as Mike Oksman, Damian Arokium (Amanda Marshall/Classic Albums Live) and Michael Borkosky (Alannah Myles/Sass Jordan) has given the band an exciting new focus and direction.

definition - a term to address an attractive female, typically used by a newly inebriated gay Kenyan man, of East Indian descent.