Jennifer Savage, Band Profile: Huckleberry Flint sparks bluegrass revival
To be in the presence of Huckleberry Flint is to be in the presence of
something special. Something pure and earnest and good. And that's before they
start playing. Once the music starts...well, there's a reason why the quintet is
in high demand.
Made up of Nick Hoffman on bass, Marybeth Taylor on fiddle and vocals, Dustin
Taylor on pennywhistle, lead guitar and vocals, Kevin Porter on dobro, guitar
and vocals, and Adam Dick on mandolin, vocals and banjo, the band formed a year
and a half age. But they've journeyed long together, anchored by their faith and
launched from their involvement in church events. The Taylors, Nick and Kevin
grew up in the area, and Adam moved to Humboldt for school. His inclusion
narrowed the group's focus into their current sound, which Dustin described as
"old-time, bluegrass gospel," to which Marybeth added, "with a Celtic flair."
The music they play suits them, Dustin continued: "We have an old-time look.
We like natural fibers."
Audiences have responded positively to both Huckleberry's look and their
sound, making them one of the most sought-after bands for dances, weddings,
festivals and anywhere else a little old-timey bluegrass gospel (with a Celtic
flair) is called for.
"It's totally blown us away," Dustin said about the group's success. With all
the bookings, playing has become "a second job," according to Kevin, "but not
really a job because it's so pleasurable." They're currently recording a
self-produced CD expected to be released in the summer, and, "if the opportunity
arises," Dustin said, "we'd like to go big - but we're not going to sell
everything and go to Nashville."
"We always want to be sincere," Marybeth added. That sincerity is part of
their appeal. "People say we look like we mean what we sing," she said. Kevin
elaborated further. "All of us have a passion for music," he said. "We all have
deep roots in it, couldn't live without it. It's a pleasure to share." Dustin
finished, "Playing music is so fun."
One of the "venues" Huckleberry Flint has always found fun is on the street
during Arts Alive!, partly for the reward they get when discovered by new
listeners. No matter where success leads the band, they "always want to be able
to play on the street," Dustin said. They also like performing for the older
crowd, Marybeth said. "It's a surprise to their generation that we appreciate