I mean are words needed? This record will probably be sought after regardless. This is a beautiful piece of musical art inside and out, and Luanne Hunt is more than what Country fans might make her out to be. I think my favorite thing about Luanne and her music, is the real authenticity of it all. And on her latest single “The Night He Came to Town”, she takes that credibility just one step further. The song, written by Canadian songwriter Dave Ward, is a little out of Luanne’s usual Country comfort zone, though the taste of Nashville is clearly evident, with the superb fiddle performance by sought after studio and touring musician, Christian Ward. Joe Eiffert, who has opened for numerous artists such as Toby Keith, Martina McBride and Brooks and Dunn, to name a few, also shines brightly here with his emoting guitar lines. Steeped in an ominous backdrop of alternative folk and blues, the song’s major impact lies in its macabre-like narrative.
It is here that Luanne Hunt unleashes her well-oiled, storytelling skillset. Coming from Country, if there is one thing this chart-topping, award-winning, singer-songwriter knows how to do, it’s tell a story. She grabs the lyric sheet and unravels the story of a dark and prophetic dream about the destruction of mankind due to its own selfish and disrespectful ways:
“Your mothers stood, your mothers cried. Your fathers watched their children die. The earth was scorched, as mankind tried to do itself away,” sings Luanne, as a ferocious and apocalyptic event, perpetrated by some powerful supernatural being descends upon earth.
“You can run but you cannot hide. He said his work was justified. Old men roared and women cried, for all they had become.” The measured melodrama in Luanne’s voice maintaining the tension and despair, with just a filter of hope. Allowing for the song’s turning point, which promptly arrives: “When I arose from the dream, the sky was blue, the trees were green. Children laughed and old men seemed to go about their day.”
As you would expect of a narrative this vividly powerful, there is always a lesson to be learned: “But the visions that I saw that night, gave me pause, gave me fright. I wish that kings and rulers might have seen what I had seen.” It’s hard not to see where Ward’s story points its accusing finger, and who the ones mainly to blame for mankind’s continual hardships really are.
Awesome. Overused word for the most part, awesome is, but in this case, it is the right one. If you’re looking for a pure country record from Luanne Hunt, this is not it. But if you’re looking for a record with tremendous music, fantastic vocals, thought-provoking lyrics, and some excellent instrumentation – particularly the fiddle and the guitar – this is exactly what you need.
Luanne’s voice is nuanced, expressive and communicative during the verses, and is able to turn on a dime and become honest and alto in the choruses. “The Night He Came to Town” is a record I am happy to have spent my time on. It’s worth it and then some. Really great a record, and a great interlude in Luanne Hunt’s already rich musical career.