“"Life Ain't No Picnic" is Truly Astonishing!”
— The Bandcamp Diaries
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About the Album
INDIE MUSIC STAR LUANNE HUNT TAKES HER CUE FROM SINATRA-ERA SONGS ON ENCHANTING NEW ALBUM, “LIFE AIN’T NO PICNIC.”
Lady Lake, FL – Don’t let the title of Luanne Hunt’s 22nd album, “Life Ain’t No Picnic,” fool you. Although its theme sounds a bit on the downbeat, it features some of the most irresistible music Hunt has ever written and produced.
The project’s lyrical content lives up to its somber title, covering everything from dysfunctional family relationships and bittersweet childhood memories to marital struggles and the aftermath of fighting in a war.
“All the stories in my songs are about the human condition, which isn’t always pretty,” said Hunt. “But when all that angst is set to charming, feel-good and catchy music, you can’t help but feel lifted up.”
“Life Ain’t No Picnic” arrives on the heels of Hunt’s 2021 critically-acclaimed, Josie Music Awards nominated, “Portraits in Song.” One listen to her latest project, fans of the three-time, Grammy-balloted singer will learn she is fearless when trying out new styles and pushing the envelope of her creativity.
Hunt’s 8-song offering highlights the singer/songwriter’s musical influences all the way back to the 1940s and 50s.
“I have always loved Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Tony Bennett and so many other artists from that era,” said Hunt, who was inducted into the Independent Superstars Hall of Fame in 2016. “Initially, I was thinking about recording an album of standards but then I realized there was absolutely nothing I could do to those old songs that would make them sound as good or better.”
“So I sat down and began writing tunes similar to that style but with my own, signature sound. And the best part of it is that I had the freedom to put a modern twist on the tunes, so they definitely are uniquely me.”
Although Hunt said she is thrilled about the final result of her entire album, she admits the tracks “More Than Just My Name” and “That’s How You Know He’s A Hero” are her personal favorites.
‘“More Than Just My Name” is my fiance’s story about his struggles with his grown children,” said Hunt. “Something truly magical happened when I sat down to write it. Somehow, I was able to fully capture the deep and heart wrenching pain of a devoted father, who was cast aside and betrayed by his son and daughter. He cries every time he listens to it.”
“In regards to “That’s How You Know He’s A Hero,” it felt like it wrote itself. The day after meeting 98-year-old World War II veteran Irving Locker, the song and his beautiful story came pouring out of me.”
Additional tracks on “Life Ain’t No Picnic” include “The Picnic,” “Lifting Weights,” “Love Forgives,” “The Good One,” “I’ll See you In My New Year’s Dreams” and “How the Curtains Blow.”
“I had tons of fun with ‘How the Curtains Blow,' as it allowed me to showcase my flair for comedy and include some sound effects and clever harmony parts,” said Hunt. “The story behind this song is a tragic tale of a newly-married couple’s love gone wrong. What’s funny about it is that their entire relationship played out on social media and ended up sort of like a three-ring circus. The comments on the feeds were hilarious.”
To help bring her tunes to life, Hunt called on seasoned musicians from around the world, in places such as Argentina, Venezuela and Italy. Along with writing all the songs on “Life Ain’t No Picnic,” she also produced, engineered, mixed and mastered the project.
“I was so bored during Covid so I decided to learn audio engineering,” said Hunt. “It worked out well because I had just moved to a new state and could not find a studio that suited my needs. I figured if I learned to do it myself, I would never have to worry about it again.”
Throughout her illustrious career, Hunt has built an impressive list of accomplishments. She is best known for her chart-topping single, “Christmas Without You,” which was named by Sweden’s largest daily newspaper, Dagens Nyheter, one of the Top 25 Christmas Songs of All-Time.
Hunt also is a six-time American Songwriting Awards winner and recipient of three CD of the Year awards from the National Traditional Country Music Association. In addition, she is a three-time Josie Awards nominee and has scored 22 No. 1 hits on major and independent music charts around the world.
Luanne Hunt Adds Astonishing New Album, “Life Ain’t No Picnic,” to Her Extensive Discography
Band Camp Diaries
Luanne Hunt, a singer and songwriter based in Lady Lake, FL, has been making music for over 25 years, eventually hitting the big time in 2007 with the success of her aptly titled CD, “Breaking Through.” She has continued to fine-tune her sound and release inspiring music.
Luanne is constantly on the lookout for new ideas and new ways to push the envelope and challenges her creativity in order to come up with something that’s genuine and personal. Her most recent studio release, “Life Ain’t No Picnic,” is a stunning combination of genres, such as easy listening, indie-folk, and even jazz, with a wide range of influences to spice it all up and add even more character to the mix.
The first track is titled “I’ll See You In My New Year’s Dreams.” Musically, the song has a nice retro swing sound, which offers a cheerful, upbeat tone. Luanne’s vocals are very easy to relate to. The track is all about reminiscing on the past year and wishing the best for the new one.
The next song is titled “The Picnic,” a song that serves as a callback to the album’s title. The track has a charming sound, and the piano melodies, along with the other instruments to add color, make for an amazing background texture to Luanne’s vocal layers.
“That’s How You Know She’s A Hero” is perhaps the most poignant and emotional song on the album. This beautiful ballad is a story that dates back to World War II, one of the most difficult moments in modern world history. It’s a heartfelt tribute to veterans who are able to keep smiling to protect their loved ones and defend them from the ugliness of war.
“How The Curtains Blow” has a charming vintage vibe and it is an amazing song that is reminiscent of legends like Elton John or Billy Joel in terms of the arrangement.
“Love Forgives” is another stunning piano ballad and one of the album’s most relatable songs. This is a true ode to the selflessness of real love. Luanne has a way of singing about such deep topics in a way that is so seamless and engaging: it isn’t always easy to accomplish such a balance.
The sixth track on the project, “Lifting Weights,” has a bit of a honky-tonk / blues sound that makes it really fun and energetic. It also showcases Luanne’s ability to explore different styles, adding so much variety to the album! Next up is the beautiful track titled, “The Good One.” The smooth jazz-inspired introduction takes the album to a whole different place, a further testament to the incredibly kaleidoscopic edge of this release. The string section is amazing as well, at times reminiscent of some of those early legendary Phil Spector productions, such as on The Beatles’ Let It Be or on George Harrison’s first solo record.
Last but definitely not least, the track “More Than Just My Name” is a soothing and melodic conclusion to a stunning album. This track offers a memorable vocal melody and an amazing arrangement, which brings the piano playing to the forefront while still allowing the band to embrace a jazzy sound.
As a whole, the album is truly astonishing.“ Life Ain’t No Picnic” features some stellar vocal parts, but what’s even more exciting is the fact that every element in the production has been tailored to perfection. The mix is detail-oriented and quite balanced so that the vocals never overpower the instrumentals and vice versa.
The key is to find the sweet spot and Luanne is an expert at crafting music that’s perfectly attuned to the dynamics of the performance, creating a more impactful listening experience. This release is highly recommended for any fan of bright vocal melodies and smooth-sounding instrumentals. It’s an amazing addition to Luanne’s growing discography and a great testament to what artists who follow their heart and passion actually sound like.