Hunt Sidway, performing songwriter

Hunt Sidway, performing songwriter

BandRockAcoustic

Hunt Sidway weaves his searching, intense lyrics through musical styles from pop-rock to folk and jazz on his acoustic-driven CD, BALANCE. A strong stage presence as well, "Sidway has won fans and praise for his gentle brand of introspective, contemplative rock music." (Cincinnati CityBeat)

Biography

A Buffalo, NY native who's lived in Louisville, KY since childhood, Hunt Sidway is the product of a musical family. His father, a bass-baritone with the New York Civic Opera, fostered Hunt's love of music and vocal prowess.

After studying guitar for a couple of years under Charlie Quillen (protegé of the late jazz great Jimmy Raney), Hunt performed his original songs throughout his college years at Lexington's Transylvania University, where he earned a degree in philosophy. Like most musicians who "gotta have a day job," he put his music on hold for years while he pursued a living in photography. For several years he was the staff photographer of Louisville's only music-specific monthly publication, Louisville Music News, and his work has been featured at numerous galleries.

Hunt returned to his first passion - music - in the early 90s, and released his debut CD Nuclear Child in 1995 to critical praise and heavy local airplay. For his sophomore release, Balance, Hunt recruited the production team of Stephen Moon and Eddy Morris, who together had fronted the Christian alt-rock band Fish Tales, and individually have amassed respectable studio credits in Louisville, Atlanta and the Southeast. The addition of top Louisville musicians (including Billy Bartley of Slackshop and Ray Rizzo of Days Of The New on drums, Mark Hamilton of amsunday on electric guitar, Maurice Hamilton on sax, and songwriter-chanteuse Kathleen Hoye and Gospel/R&B group The Pearls on backing vocals) provided the musical depth and texture for the recording, which is described in the Louisville Music News December 2004 cover story as, "a fantastic example of how to craft an independent, contemporary pop-rock album."

That a unique and recognizable sound was forged is understandable. Sidway's own influences span a wide variety of rock, folk, and pop styles ranging from U2 to Dan Fogelberg, and from Sarah McLachlan to The Innocence Mission. Moon's production sensibilities owe much to the studio craft of Steely Dan or Sting; his contributions on piano, organ and bass both color and ground the music, creating an organic pop synergy with Hamilton's inspired guitar leads and fills. The backing musicians hail from diverse alternative, rock, Americana and R&B realms. The end result is rich, tight and catchy, with plenty of lyrical and melodic hooks, an inviting recording that pulls rewards repeat listenings. As music journalist Tim Roberts oberves: "Search and discovery, doubt and certainty, emptiness and wholeness. . . Balance [is] an appropriate title."

Performing regionally in support of the new CD, Hunt's polished and inspiring solo-acoustic shows reveal his classic singer-songwriter influences. Now hard at work on his follow-up CD, 'Before I Shine', Hunt is aiming for an October 3, 2006 release date.

Lyrics

Balance

Written By: Hunt Sidway

Don’t you worry about me
I’ve got my balance back
Just stood up too fast
Next thing I knew I was flat on my back

Chorus:
But now I’ve got my bearings
I’m changing things around
Don’t want to fall again
So I’ve planted both my feet, firmly on the ground

You’ve got to get up slow
When you’ve had a fall like mine
Life can lay you low
To stand up tall you’ve got to take your time
“Pride goes before a fall”
Sure was true for me
Thought I could do it all
In my mind a saint, but in my heart a demon seed

Repeat Chorus

Gonna walk before I run
Crawl before I walk
Learn from all these scars
And plant my feet squarely on the Rock

You were there to pick me up
When I was down and out
Bruised and torn and left for dead
When I cried for help, there was no one else about

But you reached out and saved me
And raised me to my feet
Is it any wonder
That I’m here with you, humbly on my knees

So don’t you worry about me
I’ve got my balance back
Yes I’ve got my balance back

Sometimes The Sun

Written By: Hunt Sidway

Sometimes I want to run away
sometimes I want to hide
sometimes I need to draw the blinds and face the dark inside
some days are better spent alone
some nights too black to see
sometimes i need a guiding light to shine some grace on me

Chorus:
Sometimes the sun bursts through
and cuts the night in two
sometimes you glimpse a view of the world

Sometimes the sum is negative
sometimes it don’t add up
one day your plate is way too full
the next an empty cup
Some people look up to the sky
some shuffle through the dirt
some live each day as a gift from above
some think that they’ve been cursed

Chorus A:
Sometimes the sun bursts through
cuts the night in two
sometimes you glimpse a view of the world ... it’s a beautiful world!
Chorus B:
Sometimes the way is bright
to banish the fears of the night
sometimes you know all’s right with your world

Some people walk in innocence
while some are just naive
some want so much to be number one
some want just to believe
Some are under the power of gold
it’s the only way they know
some squander everything they have
while some regain their souls

Repeat chorus

Outside Looking In

Written By: Hunt Sidway

Brothers, sisters please forgive
I’m just trying to learn to live
must have holes all through my heart
the good leaks through me like a sieve
I’ve hoped and prayed for all these years
cried myself a river of tears
Narcissus by my pool of woe
I’m face to face with all my fears

pre-chorus:
Don’t want to be shut out
like a demon that needs to be cast out
I’m old enough to know what it’s all about
still I cry ...

chorus:
(I’m) on the outside looking in
don’t know how I should begin
don’t know where I’m supposed to go
I’ve been searching high and low
is it time to make my stand
is this all part of the plan
do I lay it on the line
or will I walk away just one more time?

Withered branch cut from the vine
I beg for mercy, at least sometimes
grafted in with one last chance
I’ve got to get it right this time

repeat chorus

Let’s just say for argument’s sake
you have to pay for what you break
and no matter what you say or do
you’re never gonna heal that ache
but what if someone had the power
to make it right in one dark hour
from a tree of death planted in the dirt
to make life blossom like a flower

final pre-chorus:
Now I don't have to be cast out
And I don't have to live in shame or doubt
I think you know what I'm talkin 'bout
so don’t you cry...

final chorus:
On the outside looking in
but now I know how to begin
now I see where I should go
though I’m learning kinda slow
now’s the time to make my stand
this was all part of the plan
got to lay it on the line
don’t let me walk away
don’t let me walk away
one last time

Discography

BALANCE, 2004; Moon Rover Records
(see audio section of EPK)

Nuclear Child, Aurora Records; 1995 (oop)
'Passage Of Time', debut single; 1995 (oop)

Set List

Typical set is 8-12 songs (40 minutes to an hour), and is very adaptable, depending on whether I am opening, sandwiched between other acts, or doing a 2-3 hour show. Usually solo-acoustic, sometimes with the band.

BOOKING AGENTS and DoD SCOUTS::: In addition to original songs from my two CDs, plus new material (writin' all the time!), I carefully select and arrange COVERS to suit my style and the gig. On any given night you're likely to hear my interpretations of the following (and others):

Kite (U2)
One (U2)
All I Want Is You (U2)
Wait (Sarah McLachlan)
Snow Come Down (Lori Carson)
World Before Columbus (Suzanne Vega)
Nothingman (Pearl Jam)
The Rain Song (Led Zeppelin)
Tangerine (Led Zeppelin)
Wrapped Around Your Finger (The Police)
King Of Pain (The Police)
Wish You Were Here (Pink Floyd)
Comfortably Numb (Pink Floyd)
Don't You Want To Be There (Jackson Browne)
Cry In The Forest (Dan Fogelberg)
There's A Place In The World For A Gambler (Dan Fogelberg)
Free Man