The chance to perform on a major national tour is a welcome opportunity for any emerging act, and Saskatchewan country combo The Hunter Brothers is seizing it with gusto. The group joins High Valley and Jess Moskaluke in supporting Paul Brandt on his current The Journey Tour 2019.
The Hunter Brothers' manager and record label (Open Road) head Ron Kitchener tells FYI the bulk of the Brandt tour is promoted by Live Nation. "At some point, every movement needs those with the deepest pockets," he observes. "You have to be able to put more resources into the opportunities, and those guys can take a little more risk in some places."
Kitchener reports that early shows on the tour have been going well for The Hunter Brothers. "As the first of four acts they are only playing a few songs off the top, but merch numbers are through the roof, and they're selling a lot off the stage. It is very exciting for the guys, knowing that the 3 to 4,000 people in the audience at every show has a chance to go home with the album.
The second album from the five siblings from Shaunavon, SK, State of Mind, came out the same day as the tour started, and it has been the #1 Canadian country album on iTunes for two weeks.
It is exactly three years since the band put out their first single on Kitchener's Open Road label. He explains that "the initial strategy was 'let's not overdo it or try to do too much too soon. We put out a couple of singles to start building the foundation, went to radio and did shows here and there. The guys were right in tune with that strategy. They are smart from a business standpoint too."
"We repackaged their debut album, Getaway, and added two new songs to build a better story. It was three singles before we got to the songs that went Top Ten and have secured more of their identity, 'Born and Raised' being the first one. It went Top Ten and gave us a lot of lift for the follow-up single, 'Those Were The Nights.' And now we roll with the first single from the new album with real momentum. Even though it has been three years, I think of 'Lost' [the first single off State of Mind] as the third single of that strategy. The first couple of years were quite slow, and the last year has accelerated."
Kitchener explains that the choice of a second single from the new album has yet to be made. "We are testing which songs are working. The good news is that it is a challenge to pick the next single because we have lots of options. Regardless, we know we have aces in our pocket."
The Hunter Brothers are on tour until April 13. See tour dates here