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      Phoebe Hunt and The Gatherers in Tampa


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      May 5, 2019

      Sunday   8:00 PM

      1510 E 8th Ave
      Tampa, Florida 33605

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      Phoebe Hunt and The Gatherers


      Each of us, no matter who we are, has a shadow side, a realm of our being associated in many traditions with the ego or the self, Phoebe says. Though what I create may have its roots in my soul, it first has to pass through the filter of my body and ego before it finds a place in the world. Knowing that, my goal for this album was to be as vulnerable and raw as possible in order to share my shadow.That vulnerability is apparent throughout the record on tracks like Pink and Blue, a song Hunt wrote while traveling through India. During the daily ten-hour meditations at the Vipassana center outside Kolhapur, the songs mystical celestial images and lyrics continually sought refuge in her mind, when she was supposed to be clearing it of all thoughts. At the end of the retreat, after meeting up with her friends and fellow musicians to learn about Indian classical music under the tutelage of Kala Ramnath, she wrote the instrumental part of the song and incorporated her lyrics with the rhythmic and melodic concepts she was studying. I like to pick at my wounds until they bleed / Take in the moon on a bended knee she sings in the songs opening verse, a tender declaration of purpose for the album. On Just for Tonight, an elegiac waltz about the nature of forgiveness, Hunts luminous vocals melt away the songs carapace of doubt and regret: Let the stillness in you / Clear the shadows in me / Let me look through your eyes / And see nothing but peace. Written beside a river at RockyGrass Festival in Lyons, CO the song sprang from a painful personal experience, a wound that the songs creation helped to heal. On Frolic of the Bees, the albums shimmering lead track, the notion of vulnerability is reimagined as a blissed-out invitation to community. The song begins with the hypnotically enticing mandolin of Dominick Leslie, followed by Hunts crystalline call to whomever has ears to hear: Come, all the wild ones / Come, all the thieves / Come, all you furry feathered friends / Where we are headed, no one can harm you / Anyone can stay until the end. Depicting an ethereal gathering in the woods where all are welcome, the song is an uncanny love letter to inclusion and openness, to the wonder and spontaneous joy that are possible when we allow ourselves to encounter each other lovingly, free from shame or judgment. To me, Hunt says of the song, its an expression of transformation and dynamic change, a kind of ceremony or transcendent event thats only possible when people are free to be together authentically. Hunts gorgeous fiddling entwines itself with Leslies virtuosic mandolin in a sublime encounter that amplifies the songs central premise of communion. You in the flames there / Burn through the night now, Hunt sings, sounding out a shamanic command to the music, imploring it to sustain the joy.On an album that opens with the joyous incantation of Frolic of the Bees, its only fitting that the final track is a kind of quiet exhalation and reflective summation of the records major ideas. I Really Love opens with just that Hunts soft exhalation and proceeds as a slow recitation of a few concrete joys that make life worth living: I really love putting the phone down and spacing out for an hour / Feeling the water touching my brow in the shower / Hearing the sound of piano downstairs / Watching the smoke disappear into the air / And singing The song is heartbreakingly beautiful in its specificity, and, rather than coming off like a hyper-personalized update of My Favorite Things, I Really Love sounds like a confession of the most profound sort. The song is so evocative because of the pathos inherent in Hunts voice, which she uses to sublimate the most everyday experiences into deeply personal, spiritual rites. That process, the sanctification of Hunts most private self, is what Shantis Shadow seeks to articulate.

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