So before their show this weekend, I called up Clint Hunt, father of the performing group, to ask him about the show, the group and their trip to Utah. He was in a shopping mall in Jackson, Tennessee at the time, but he was still nice enough to talk to me. After a few niceties were exchanged, we got into the questions.
SP: Have you ever played in Utah before?
CH: We have played in Provo, I think it was about two years ago. It was a lot of fun, and we're really looking forward to coming again.
SP: What do you like to do when you're in Utah?
CH: We love to hike and sight-see and play disc golf and just meeting folks. It's a great gig we've got going onâ€”to go around the country.
SP: Do you have any new songs coming out soon?
CH: We're working on some new songs now. The girls are writing and Johnathan is writing. We're going to bring a lot of new music out there to Park City. We're in the process of recording some new stuff right now. We're going to give a good dose of Celtic fiddling, bluegrass, some unique personal stuff, just a bunch of new stuff for you guys.
SP: What did you dream of doing as a kid?
CH: Oh my goodness. . . I think about where I am now, where my kids are, and the things my kids have done and what I did back when I was their age. It's amazing what they've accomplished. I had no idea what I wanted to do at that age. It's so rewarding to see audiences enjoy your own original arrangements of song. That's the most rewarding thing. I can't say where I was or what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to be a musician. I'm a certified artist, which is nothing more than a glorified tree climber. But then I met my wife Sandy. Sand is a classically-trained violinist. We met in college. We started playing music together in restaurants and weddings and clubs and stuff like that. She started teaching the girls when they got old enough. Then we got asked to play at a benefit. Then people started calling us. They wanted to see the family with the two little fiddling girls. The boys would see the older girls playing and thought that was what they're supposed to do. They learned their instruments and got into the gig one by one. It's always been a family thing.
SP: Is it weird being internationally famous, or would you not have it any other way?
CH: I don't know if we're that famous. Sometimes we have mixed feelings about it. Sometimes it's nice to walk around and have people recognize you, sometimes they don't. It's nice not to have anyone stalking us. (laughs) We're just enjoying this time with our kids. The girls are 21, the boys range from ages 19 to 13. We just have a few more years with them before they're off and married and who knows if this is something they'll want to continue on with in the future. It helps in that with the original music they bring into the show that they do themselves.
SP: What is your favorite part of touring?
CH: My favorite part of touring. . . Well, there's so many different aspects. I love being with my family and going to different parts of the country. We've seen so many things across the country that are just beautiful. Oceans, beaches, waterfalls, canyons. So many people want to travel to China, Japan, Ireland, England. There's so much to see in our own country. We're almost paid to go see these places, to play music at different venues. Meeting folks at different venues is a huge plus and very encouraging. They're always so nice and supportive. A lot of audiences don't see the work that goes into a performance. They don't see that you're there two hours before the show and an hour after setting up and breaking down. But it's rewarding cause we're doing it as a team. Our family is a team, and that's huge. It's not like a lot of bands with four or five people from different families with different walks of life. You don't get the commitment there because they have other things like, "Oh, he can't make this gig because his son has a soccer game." But we work as a family. I think it's a little bit easier to be a family. Sorry, I'm rambling, aren't I?
SP: No no, it's fine! It's really interesting stuff. So what do you think you'll do after the kids are all off on their own, doing whatever it is they'll end up doing?
CH: I hope they'll keep me around at least to drive the bus or run the sound or something. Right now, I'm playing guitar in the show. The children are very talented musicians in their own right. Whatever happens, I hope we'll always be together. Like I said, we're just taking it one day at a time.
SP: What do you do for fun?
CH: Our kids are very involved at our church. They've got their friends. They love to shop. They love to play basketball. They just got finished with an East Coast basketball tournament in Virginia, the boys. They just finished first place, five to nothing. There's a lot of stuff they're all involved with. The girls have volleyball at the YMCA. They're normal kids. Did I miss anything? Friends, volleyball, basketball. . . They're just normal kids. When we're not on the road, we're just doing stuff like any other normal family would. Getting a movie from Redbox, popping some popcorn, all sitting down on the couch together. . . We're just a normal family.
SP: Any tourist spots you're planning to check out while you're here?
CH: I know there's so much to see in Utah, and unfortunately we're not going to be able to see it all. The plan is to get down to Arches and possibly over to Goblin Valley. Zions is a little too far southwest for this trip. But there's so many beautiful sites we'd like to see in Utah.
SP: Planning to do any late-season skiing?
CH: (laughs) I would love to, but I just took the kids skiing last month. A couple of them are still recovering. We had a few twisted wrists, a twisted knee. . . No one got too hurt, but we're still recovering. I think skiing we're going to put off until next year. The skiing is amazing in Utah! But I didn't even bring my skis this time around.
SP: Is there anything you would like to say to your fans here in Utah?
CH: We'd love for anyone to come out, all ages. Don't just think it's another act. There's something for everyone. I know it's a little cliche, but. . . We perform at a lot of different venues. At K-12 schools, high schools, colleges. . . Even down to the little blue-haired lady in the third row, everyone in the audience loves the show. We're not aimed at any one age group. We've got something for everyone. But come out to the show. Visit our Web site. We're on Facebook as well. Become a fan. It's going to be a lot of fun. We're really looking forward to coming out there. Everyone at the Egyptian Theatre has been so fun to talk to. We're really looking forward to it.
I would like to echo Clint's words. Come down to the show. It sounds like they've got something really special planned for us. They perform at the Egyptian Theater in Park City Friday and Saturday nights at 8 p.m. (and a special show for Pharoah Club members tonight). Doors open at 7:30, so don't be late! You can go to http://egyptiantheatrecompany.org/ to buy tickets or call the box office at 435-649-9371. Tickets are $22 in advance or $25 at the door for adults and $12 in advance or $15 at the door for children 18 and under.