Gallatin Gateway’s Jim Averitt and Bozeman’s Chelsea Hunt have teamed up for a new album, this one an all-instrumental effort. Averitt is an excellent acoustic guitarist and singer-songwriter, and Hunt is one of Montana’s finest violin/fiddle players.
Guest artists on a few tracks are Randy Tico, a member of Jeff Bridges’ band, The Abiders, who plays acoustic bass and percussion, and well-known Bozeman phenom Tom Murphy, who adds mandolin on “There Is a Love Somewhere.”
Averitt and Hunt co-wrote seven compositions, and Averitt himself, four; the pair shares writing credits with Jonee Degiorgio on the first number, “Hold On.” Songs are a mix of Americana sounds – folk, jazz and blues among them.
Averitt says the duo had fun making the recording, and one can see why. It’s chock-full of good musicianship, clean production, and pretty melodies. Complex arrangements, too. The classically trained Hunt can switch from roots sounds to a more traditional approach with ease; she’s comfortable with any style, really.
“Hold On” sports silky violin, ringing guitar harmonics, and a jazzy and syncopated style underpinned by cookin’ bass. Hunt channels a bit of Stéphane Grappelli, too.
“Playing in the Park” opens with the soft sounds of guitar and violin walking up the scale; it’s bright and airy. In contrast, “Chelsea’s Tune” is contemplative, with lots of intricate interplay among violin, chin cello and guitar. The deep cello sound creates a pensive mood.
“Music in My Coffee” is tightly woven, has cool chunky guitar chords and stutter-step rhythm. “Snoring Dog” and “Bug of Insecurity” appeared on earlier albums, each with a bigger band sound; here, they are given a more delicate touch. Hunt’s tender, bluesy interpretation of “Bug” feels very sweet and improvisational. There’s much to like about this album!
– Mariss McTucker