Saturday, October 23, 2010

Bluegrass Festival with Dustin Taylor!

Welcome to the second day of the "Seasons of Humility" Bluegrass Festival! Today we are hosting Dustin Taylor of the bluegrass band Huckleberry Flint!

Huckleberry Flint is a band located in my home county (Humboldt County) in Northern California. The band has recently grown to include seven members total. Dustin is one of the original members, and he plays guitar and sings for the band. He and several other members of the band also play at a local church (Arcata First Baptist) during the Sunday morning worship service. The music is beautiful, and I envy my parents and sister being able to go and listen to them all the time while I'm away at college! ;)

You can find out more about Huckleberry Flint by checking out their Facebook page.

And now it is my great pleasure to introduce ya'll to Dustin Taylor!

Amber: How did Huckleberry Flint get its start? And is there a story behind the name?

Dustin: Huckleberry Flint got their start seven years ago. Kevin Porter, Marybeth Taylor, Adam Dick and I had already been playing worship music together in church and our Bible study, then Adam Dick brought up the idea of playing bluegrass together. Being that Adam was playing around on the mandolin, I played a couple chords on the guitar, and Marybeth took classical violin lessons throughout her school years, bluegrass was a perfect fit. Adam was heavily influenced by Hank Williams and The Wilders at the time, and I began acquiring a collection of Bill Monroe and other bluegrass recordings for my influence. After our first street performance at Eureka's monthly Arts Alive event, we were hooked and soon began shopping for our western suits and cowboy hats. Our first official performance was at the Arcata First Baptist welcome students BBQ.

I wish I had a better story for the name Huckleberry Flint, but we were just having a hard time coming up with a name and so I was just spewing out combinations of names. I knew the name needed to role off the tongue with ease, and when I said Huckleberry Flint we laughed about it and then came to like it.

Amber: Do you have any family members or long-time friends in the group? If so, do you feel that the music draws you closer together?

Dustin: I think the reason Huckleberry Flint has lasted so long is because we are all long-time friends and family. Marybeth is my sister in law and the rest of the band members are very close friends from church. I feel that although performing music together has definitely drawn us closer together, it is our relationship with Jesus Christ that has really impacted our friendships for the better.

Amber: Of the songs your group performs, which one is your favorite and why?

Dustin: I have a few favorites, but I would say my favorite song to perform right now would have to be "Wayfaring Stranger." The song has taken on a whole new life of its own since Brian and Lauren Pilger have joined the band adding organ, electric guitar, and vocals. I love the dynamics, haunting harmonies, and full bodied sound of our version of the traditional song.

Amber: I hope that song is going to be on your next album, then! (Dustin already informed me that they will be recording a new CD this winter!)

What do you enjoy about performing locally in Humboldt County? Have you ever had the opportunity to travel with Huckleberry Flint?

Dustin: Humboldt County is a great place to perform. For such an out of the way location, Humboldt has a very vibrant music scene with a large variety of music venues. Humboldt also has a wonderful folk life society who took us under their wing and gave us many opportunities to grow and learn as an old-time/bluegrass band. One such pivotal folk life society moment for me was when they asked us to open for Old Crow Medicine Show. I fell in love with the high energy performance and raw old-time sound of O.C.M.S that night, and my mind was left spinning with ides for future HF performances. I also enjoy performing in Humboldt because Huck Flint has a great home town crowd who know how to make us feel welcome and loved. It is nice to see familiar faces in the crowd.

Amber: What do you love the most about bluegrass music in general?

Dustin: I love bluegrass music because of its rich heritage and its accessibility for people to play together. The acoustic instruments can be played anywhere and the traditional songs make it easy for strangers to just gather and make music together. I have had so much fun at bluegrass festivals just sitting around a campfire playing songs.

Amber: Tying in with the title of this blog, "Seasons of Humility," do you ever struggle with humility when Huckleberry Flint garners acclaim? If so, do you have any advice you can share with us from your journey to be humble before God?

Dustin: Of course it is difficult not to feel prideful when Huckleberry Flint garners acclaim, but I think it would be much more of a struggle if it was just me getting acclaim as a solo artist. It is so nice to be in a band of dear friends who also fear the Lord. If I ever feel prideful for my musical skills, the band easily puts me back in my place. Most importantly, it is the constant work of the Lord Jesus in my life that keeps me working toward humility. Fellowship with fellow Christians and time in the Bible are essential to walking out a life pleasing to God.

Amber: Thank you so much for sharing with us today, Dustin! Can't wait to go home and listen to Huckleberry Flint's music again in person!


Readers, here's a glimpse of the fantastic, traditional bluegrass music played by Huckleberry Flint:


The music of Huckleberry Flint has a down-home and catchy feel you don't want to miss! And the hymns they play are very powerful. If you would like a chance to win an iTunes download of your choice of one of their two CDs, leave a comment with your e-mail address saying you would like to be entered in the giveaway! A winner will be announced on Sunday, October 24.

8 comments:

Vince said...

Hi Amber:

I like Huck Finn
But I think
They need
a mandolin.

Vince

Vince (at) swbell (dot) net

Amber S. said...

Vince,

Always the poet. ;) Actually, Dustin shared with me who all was in the band and what instruments they played, and Adam Dick does occasionally play mandolin. Their band has expanded since this video was filmed, and I think you would love their music. I know I do. :D

~Amber

Julia M. Reffner said...

I like the name Huckleberry Flint, appropriate for your blog I would think :). I love the look of the cover. Thanks for introducing us to these new-to-me artists.

Laura Frantz said...

Amber, Another wonderful post! Love all the instruments but am especially partial to the fiddle:) Like Julia, I think the name is so neat and memorable. Now have a new group to watch for!! Bless you for the great questions/spotlight!

Anonymous said...

Dustin, great interview and thoughtful answers.
We really enjoy when you lead a song at church and play the banjo! The music you all play is so uplifting. Thank You.

Amber, always enjoy your interviews. Especially fond of the one with your daddy. Wish you could be going to church with us tomorrow! I think of you during so many of the songs we sing. I miss you and love you with all my heart!!!

Love,
Mom
XOXO

Amber S. said...

Julia,

I love the name, too! So fun. :D I love that cover-type picture, as well, which I got from their Facebook page. It's not the same one as their latest CD, but maybe they'll use it in the future. ;)

So happy I could introduce you to these bands! Thanks for stopping by!

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Laura,

Thank you! I'm so glad you could stop by. :) I love the fiddle, as well, and just the way bluegrass sounds altogether! It's amazing stuff, for sure! :D

Glad you enjoyed meeting Huckleberry Flint! They're definitely a band to watch for, and I'm excited that they have a new CD coming out in the semi-near future! ;)

~Amber

Amber S. said...

Mommy!

Thank you so much for stopping by! I am in complete agreement--love hearing them play at church. :)

I'm especially fond of the interview with Daddy, as well. I think his interview touched a lot of people, especially me! :)

Oh, I so wish I could be going to church with you tomorrow, too! I can't wait to see you and the rest of the family again at Christmas-time. I love you and miss you soooooo much--with all of my heart!

Love you, Mommy!

Love,
Amber
XOXO