Front Porch Finger-Pickin' Music: Local Bluegrass Band Makes a Name for Themselves

PHOTO CAP: L-R Matt Kline, 23, of Harper Ferry, W.Va., Ben Townsend, 24, of Romney, W.Va., Matt Metz, 25, of Harpers Ferry, and John Miller, 21, of Martinsburg, W.Va. (Photo credit: Courtesy of The Fox Hunt)


Front Porch Finger-Pickin' Music
Local Bluegrass Band Makes a Name for Themselves
by Jennifer LB Leese
j.leese@picketnews.com

Bluegrass was and is a major part of my life. I've been going to bluegrass festivals since I was very young. I remember well meeting Bill Monroe, "the father of bluegrass music", at the Gettysburg Bluegrass Festival many years ago.
Yes, I partied with the best of them - the Johnson Mountain Boys, Lewis Family, and The Seldom Scene. The members of my stepfather's bluegrass band, Route 15 Express, came to the house every weekend during the summer- setting up on the porch, practicing for hours on end. Sometimes a small audience would gather in the grass and I'd often fall asleep listening to them play.

When I was contacted by Matt Kline, vocalist, guitarist, and songwriter, for the band The Fox Hunt, I knew I had to review their new album "Nowhere Bound".

Looking at their picture you may get the impression that they are from a rock band, but they aren't...they are a bluegrass/country band that's bringing the age-old music to younger groups of listeners.

The Fox Hunt released their 10-track, home-recorded original album back in April with Skull City Records.

Matt Kline, 23, of Harpers Ferry and John Miller, 21, of Martinsburg, both write songs, sing, and play the guitar. Ben Townsend, 24, of Romney, plays fiddle and banjo and Matt Metz, 25, of Harpers Ferry, plays the mandolin and the banjo.

"Our music kind of mixes the bluegrass we're surrounded by and our rock
n' roll influences," said Kline.

In part, I believe the movie, "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" brought bluegrass music to a much wider audience. The Fox Hunt is doing the same locally. Don't let their young ages fool you...I am already an addicted fan.

The songwriting on this album is excellent. "Good Girl", "All Your Roses", and "Lord, We Get High" are a few of my favorite songs. Picking out specific highlights of this album is extremely difficult because there really isn't a bad performance on it - the entire album is a highlight.

The band is superb - totally in sync with one another, which gives the musicians an opening to extend their storytelling talents and instrumental gifts for all to enjoy. "Nowhere Bound" is polished with finely crafted originals. Their artistic vision is strong. They're pretty impressive! As they grow older, they'll perfect their uniqueness and will leave the small gigs behind them.

Kline, Metz, and Townsend previously played in metal rock band called The Red Oranges before forming The Fox Hunt and bringing in Miller.

These four young musicians are getting a lot of attention everywhere they go.

"Nowhere Bound" is a fantastic release. Their creativeness will get them far.

To find out more about this young and exciting new group and to download and listen to some tracks from their CD, visit www.myspace.com/lefoxhunt. Look for them at bar and grills, local events, and bluegrass festivals.

Upcoming shows include:
November 09, 2007- Limerick's Pub and Grille - Martinsburg, West Virginia
November 10, 2007- Longbranch Saloon - Hedgesville, West Virginia
November 16, 2007- Floyd Country Store - Floyd, Virginia
November 17, 2007- Gunther O'Darby's - Roanoke, Virginia
December 21, 2007- Private Function - Martinsburg, West Virginia
December 22, 2007- Unique Bar & Grill - Blue Ridge Summit, Pennsylvania