Roots and R&B singer/songwriter Kelley Hunt says when she first started singing, her grandmother, a gospel singer, gave her this advice: "Don’t sing it, if you don’t mean it."
Hunt was born in Kansas City, Mo. and grew up in Emporia, Kan. She told Fish Fry host Chuck Haddix that her parents always had music playing in the house, including jazz, blues, R&B and Motown.
"I think I got it through osmosis. And there was such an appreciation for it that, shoot, I thought everybody's family played this music all the time," says Hunt. "There were always records going in the house, or the radio playing."
Hunt's most recent recording, Gravity Loves You, was released in 2011. Shake It Off Right Away was a song that she says was in her catalog, but she hadn't recorded it before. Hunt says her husband/manager, Al Berman, suggested it before they headed to Nashville, Tenn. to record the album.
"It was just a fun romp. We did it absolutely live...we kept the whole track intact, warts and all, because the feel was so fun," she says. "It's a good day for me when I can sit down and play some boogie, man."
Listen to the extended interview with Kelley Hunt in The Fish Fry archives here.
Kansas City's 18th & Vine Jazz and Blues Festival, Saturday, October 12, 11 am - 11:30 pm, in the Blue Room, Gem Theater, and American Jazz Museum. Headliners include: Pieces of a Dream, Bobby Lyle and Maysa, Con Funk Shun, The Messenger Legacy, Bettye Lavette, and Kelley Hunt. 816-474-6262.