STU HUGGENS WITH THE WILD HYMNS
JULY 16, 2016 – 7:00PM
Stu Huggens – Singer, Songwriter, Musician & Entertainer: Stu splits his time between acoustic shows and his band, The Stu Huggens Band. The highlights of Stu’s achievements have been The Berks County dedication with 20,000 thousand people attending and The Baltimore Civic Center for 15,000 people.
The very first large venue concert he performed at was with The Allman Brothers. That opened the door for many more live performances for Stu and His band at the time. Susquehanna River Band. Called SRB by the fans. They performed with almost every major Country and Southern Rock act of that time, and toured all over the US and Canada.
The Wild Hymns – Founded by Megan Woodland Donley and Jeff Hewitt (also wife and husband), The Wild Hymns play in various formations ranging from acoustic duo on up to full 6-piece band. Donley writes most of the material and Hewitt contributes to musical arrangement and composition.
The Wild Hymns debut, self-titled album started out as a solo album of Donley’s music. With the encouragement of Hewitt and drummer Steve Witmer, whom they were playing with as a folky trio at the time, they began recording the skeleton of an album in fall 2013. With the addition of Clem Foust on pedal steel guitar, bassist Chris Towson, and vocalist/songwriter Krystle Seitz adding harmony, as well as a few guest artists (bassist Donna Volles and violinist Helena Protopapas), the album blossomed in scope and sound and led to the formation of the band, The Wild Hymns.
The band has since changed line-up a number of times, with Donley and Hewitt at the core. Though Donley fronts the band with her vocals and provides songs and lyrics, all material is expanded upon by the entire group; collaboration and creative exploration has been fundamental to the band since its conception.
The music of The Wild Hymns is a mix of melodically-enchanting modern folk and americana with touches of gypsy jazz, world, gospel, rock and ambient/improvisational music. Their music is often described as mellow and laid-back, though the sound of “the hymns” can have a high-spirited and wild side, especially in a live setting, with plenty of improvisation and musical experimentation. The lyrics and music of The Wild Hymns is greatly influenced by personal and universal love, nature, mysticism and the exploration of emotion and what it means to be human. They are reclaiming the word “hymn”, releasing it from the sometimes limiting beliefs of the church and letting it loose into the wild to mean anything and everything sacred.