Jake Hunsinger & The Rock Bottom Band
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Jake Hunsinger & The Rock Bottom Band

Providence, Rhode Island, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2019 | INDIE

Providence, Rhode Island, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2019
Band Americana Country


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Singer-songwriter Jake Hunsinger finds new musical ways forward"


There are some musicians who can really catch your attention with their voice. The way they sing becomes the trademark of their sound, and each time after listening to a tune of theirs you’re left stunned and impressed. It’s the most natural way a singer-songwriter can stand apart from their contemporaries.

With a blend of full-bodied soul and a bit of a twang, Cranston resident Jake Hunsinger is able to pull this off in excellent fashion. The past couple of years have seen him go from playing open mics to becoming a fixture in Rhode Island’s music scene.

We recently had a talk about how he wound up in Cranston, his musical heroes, starting a band, his girlfriend being his muse and a new single he put out.


You’re originally from Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, so how did you end up in Cranston?


My dad is from Hazelton, Pennsylvania, and I kind of consider that place home. My mom married my dad in Williamsburg and I was born in Harrisburg, then my dad got a promotion with Pitney Bowes and there were two places he didn’t want to work. He didn’t want to work in Wisconsin and he didn’t want to work in Rhode Island, and of course he took a job with better pay in Rhode Island. My mom’s family, even though she grew up in New Hampshire, is originally from Rhode Island, so on top of dad getting the promotion, my mom got to be near her family. It just made sense for us all to move to Cranston. I came here when I was around 2.


Who do you consider to be your No. 1 musical hero and why?


I was actually thinking about that the other day because I was working on a song and I can’t help but compare myself to people I admire. It definitely manifests so much in my work that I notice. One of my favorite musicians, Father John Misty, says that you have to kill your heroes if you’re going to make something mostly yours. Once I started taking that philosophy to heart, I stopped sounding like Bruce Springsteen and I really wanted to be like him for a while. He was my big thing in high school all the way through when I started college, and then I really got into Bob Dylan but it was more of a study than it was an influence.

I will ultimately say Bruce Springsteen, but my relationship with him has changed to where it’s more enjoyment now than it is inspiration. I just love his whole story, I love everything about him, what he means and what he meant to me as a kid. Bruce Springsteen’s whole ethos and what he talks about in his songs just makes sense when you’re in high school, it makes sense even now, actually, but it really resonated with me during that time.


Bruce Springsteen has a way of telling stories with his music that a lot of people can’t really match. It’s a borderline lyrical mix of the beat generation style and stream of consciousness but it’s in a story structure that gives you visuals of what he’s singing about. Not a lot of musicians can do that.




You've recently gone from being a solo musician to having The Rock Bottom Band become your backing band. How did you get all of the members to join you and do you prefer playing with a band versus playing solo or does it depend on the gig?


In high school I played in this little alternative rock band that I took way too seriously, definitely more seriously than anyone else involved. I didn’t really work out, but it’s a high school band so it’s not supposed to. I didn’t want to hear that, so I swore off playing with a band for a while because I would only get frustrated with what other people were doing. Then my friend Zack Wedge, who is one of my best friends, and I were talking about music and while we have different tastes we also have similar personalities. I wanted to record my debut EP at the time and I realized that I’m not satisfied hearing just me on the recording.

So I asked him to play drums on it, and of course Zack jumped at the opportunity. I love playing, but he does it every day. I can go a couple days without playing my guitar and I’ll eventually get burnt out, but he can’t not play so he signed on really quick. I met Andrew Donnelly at a show and we bonded over John Prine and ancient history, which is weird. We were in the bathroom and I noticed that he was wearing a shirt with the Roman Republic symbol on it and we were talking about that. We kind of fell down that rabbit hole and we really bonded over shared interests.

I needed someone to play guitar and I asked him. What I didn’t know is that he and I could do harmonies so well. I was really happy when he joined up. We recorded that first EP with George Dussault at Galilee Productions in Cumberland and he played the bass on that while filling out all of the instrumentation. Jaime Doyle, who’s the bass player now, became friends with me through theater at UMass Dartmouth and after he heard my acoustic demos that I personally can’t stand anymore, he kind of tracked me down. He caught me outside my apartment and he was really intense about it while saying, “Jake, I love your demos. We need to jam, like soon.”

That was a year before we actually played together and I asked him to play in the band out of necessity. We had the band’s debut show coming up and I realized that I didn’t actually have a full band yet, so I asked him if he wanted to do it. Jamie was down and he’s awesome, he’s an active entertainer which is something you don’t see with a lot of bassists. He has a lot of dynamic input as well, so it’s kind of like a thing where I picked up one person at a time. It was always the lineup I was trying to make for the record.

It was very natural, very organic, and I think that’s why it worked so well, because I wasn’t trying to force something to happen and trying to make something that wasn’t. I very much love playing with the band, we had our first practice a while ago and it’s like we’ve never stopped. I’ve had so much fun, we lost a lot of shows because of COVID-19 but I feel like my acoustic performances and my band performances have a different quality to them. I don’t prefer one over the other because they feel different to me when I’m playing. When I’m playing in the pocket, I feel good.

When I’m playing acoustically, I feel electric. I feel magnetic. I feel cool and I feel like I’m captivating by myself, but there’s something about playing with the band that always delivers for me. It makes me feel like I’m doing what I should be doing. It depends, I play mostly acoustic shows before COVID-19 largely because it just pays better and I’m trying to do this for work.


That’s awesome how much can give you so much of a rush like that. A few weeks ago, you put out a new single titled “Lady Of The Wild Moor” with The Rock Bottom Band. Was that also recorded with George Dussault?


Yes it was.


Who created the cover art for it? It’s kind of like something you would see in a church window while also having a medieval vibe to it?


That was my lovely girlfriend, Abigail. She drew that for me. Abigail is really instrumental to my work. She’s an editor for the songs when I’m not feeling sure about it. The first EP’s artwork is a painting from the ’40s that her friend almost threw out. She said that I would love it so she saved it, took it and gave it to me. With “Lady Of The Wild Moor,” it’s really about her. It’s a stream of consciousness thing that came to mind when I first started dating her.


Can we expect a new record from you and the band to follow up the single?


We have a whole song catalog and I’m trying to figure out which is the best way to go forward because of the changing music market and because I can’t play shows until there’s a vaccine, or so we think. We don’t fully understand the nature of the virus and the name of the game now is staying relevant and getting attention, which is really hard for anybody. It’s purely a business move, there will be a bunch of releases over the course of this year. I don’t know if it’s going to be a single after single because we’re recording a new song in July. The current mindset now is to have another single out by then, but is it building to a larger release or is it just throwing out content so people can remember that we exist? It kind of depends. I will say that there will be more music this year, but I don’t know what it’s going to look like. - The Cranston Herald

"UMass Dartmouth’s Folk Heroes"

Cowboy boots and an Appalachian twang are an unusual sight here in New England. However, going against the grain of Southern Massachusetts is Jake Hunsinger and the Rock Bottom Band, and this past Saturday at the News Café in Pawtucket, RI, the yeehaw vibes were strong.

Beginning only with vocalist and guitarist Jake Hunsinger (English/History, 2020), the group expanded to include bassist Jamie Doyle (Management Information Systems, 2021), drummer Zack Wedge (History, 2020), and guitarist Andrew Donnelly. The group plays the original folksy tunes written by Hunsinger himself as well as a number of well executed covers of country and folk classics.

Walking up to the News Café I was dramatically overdressed and drastically unprepared for the night that waited ahead of me. After an $8 cover which goes entirely to the bands preforming and a $3 beer (or three), I settled in to enjoy a four–act set over the course of the evening. Sitting at a long bar illuminated with green neon and a subtle black light, I watched the performers setting up their gear, chatting with the audience, and getting ready to take the stage.

Acting as the master of ceremonies for the night, Hunsinger introduced the first act, vocalist and guitarist Beth Barron. A solo player, Barron sang sweet tunes with a gentle style. However, that’s not to say that she couldn’t turn up the heat and swing with the best of them. Next up to the stage was Jake Wasson M.D. (not a real doctor), Wasson brought a harder sound with his guitar and powerful harmonica skills.

These two sets of versatile and masterful performers opened the night in a wonderful way that set the mood, got feet tapping, and could have tackled any show in their own right. Next up was Hunsinger and The Rock Bottom Band. When they took the stage, those in attendance migrated to the rear of the bar, surrounding the stage and preparing for the upcoming set.

After a bit of charming banter, the group began their portion of the night with explosive energy and a charisma that could soften hearts and lower inhibitions by word alone. Throughout their set, Hunsinger commanded attention as the front-man for the group. Wedge laid down a consistent and heart-pounding backbeat that kept the group on track. Doyle, swapping between standard electric bass and a badass electric standup base, kept the groove thick and driving. Donnelly, not to be outshined by the others, used his resonator guitar to play out technically impressive and unique solos.

Following their set, the Torch sat down with the members of the band to chat about the show, the band, music, and more. This performance was the first paid gig for The Rock Bottom Band and speaking with Doyle, it was clear how important this night really was “Performing with Jake Hunsinger and the rock bottom band was one of the best things that’s happened to me as musician, this band is continuing to open up new gates for me as a performer and I’m excited to see where the future takes us”.

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Like all musicians, Hunsinger has his influences, and he cites his father as one of the most important. Chatting about his childhood, Hunsinger told the Torch that his father gave him his first guitar and taught him the chords that would inspire him to continue his journey into music. “Music is the only thing that makes sense in my head” said Hunsinger.

After talking with Hunsinger, it was clear that I was speaking to a true musician and a true artist. Wedge added in his own commentary saying that for those who want more of The Rock Bottom Band can rest assured knowing that “…this Bob Dylan meets Led Zeppelin meets Appalachian folk band has no intention of stopping anytime soon.”

The band Hollow Turtle closed out the night with an electrifying set that even got this stubborn reporter onto his feet and dancing with the crowd. The News Café couldn’t have picked a better set of acts to play the night and the joint was most assuredly jumping well into the early hours of the morning.

This show, presented by Hobo Castle Records, shook the building and for lack of a less cliché term, rocked the night away. If you ever get the chance to see Jake Hunsinger and The Rock Bottom Band, that is an opportunity one should surely take.

Jake Hunsinger and The Rock Bottom Band can be found on streaming services, bandcamp, and CDs are on the way. - The Torch


Jake Hunsinger - Jake Hunsinger



‘Powerhouse Americana'. This is how singer-songwriter Jake Hunsinger and company refer to their sound, and a quick listen shows that this is a more than apt description. Based out of Providence, RI, Hunsinger is backed by the
Rock Bottom Band. While often a solo performer, together they provide dynamic performances with
rollicking musical arrangements and tight hillbilly vocal harmonies over good country songs. Hunsinger's voice is described as "a blend of full-bodied soul and a bit of a twang, (he) is able to pull this off in excellent fashion". A Hazelton Pennsylvania native, Hunsinger describes himself as an obsessive student of American music history and the country songwriting traditions, specifically, the Appalachian and Nashville styles. Above all else, Hunsinger hopes to share his heart and the stories he has collected with those willing to listen. “We’re gonna be together
for a little bit, so it’s my job to make sure you enjoy every second of
it. You have my full attention.”

Band Members