Article Contributed by Compass Records | Published on Saturday, October 14, 2023

Singer/songwriter and banjo player Kelly Hunt announces the release of her new album OZARK SYMPHONY out today. The new album is the eagerly anticipated follow up to her 2019 Folk Alliance International Album of the Year-nominated release, EVEN THE SPARROW, and fully delivers on that promise.

OZARK SYMPHONY was produced by Dirk Powell (Rhiannon Giddens, Our Native Daughters) whose musical pedigree runs deep in Celtic, Cajun and old-time music, and who drew from across a diverse community of musicians in the US and UK, to cultivate a lush soundscape around the album’s 12 tracks. Guests on the project include cellist Natalie Haas, Irish flute master Mike McGoldrick and Kai Welch on trumpet and accordion.

About the new project, Grateful Web wrote: “If you've ever been enchanted by the lyrical power of Lucinda Williams or felt the emotional tug of Nanci Griffith, then you're about to meet your next obsession. With OZARK SYMPHONY, Hunt carves her name alongside these legends... not just a collection of songs but a collaboration of pure musical genius.”

The Bluegrass Situation premiered the album's first single and video "On the Bayou". Hunt describes the song as a modern-day adaptation of the "Evangeline" tale which is a centerpiece of Louisiana folklore and which she first encountered in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's poem by the same name. She expalins: "The chorus is an invocation of sorts: 'Evangeline, tell me what you know…' A plea for guidance across time and space from one lovelorn woman to another."

Other stand-out tracks include the title track, “Ozark Symphony,” which ties Hunt to the Ozark region which she says is reflective of “the uncanny cross between the earthy and classical influences of my upbringing.” The Delta landscape of her Memphis roots-inspired “Lost Highway”, a song that grew out of a deep dive into Hank Williams' catalog and which Hunt wrote one perfect summer evening, banjo in hand, on the front porch of her childhood home.

The album ends with the acapella song “Over the Mountain”, inspired by a Southern adage Hunt adopted from a friend’s grandmother: “There’s a comin’, there’s a goin’.” The track weaves in the sounds of cicadas to create a veritable Ozark symphony, as timeless and true as the mountains themselves.

Hunt will be on tour during the coming weeks in support of the release. Tour dates follow below:

10/13: Kansas City, MO – Knuckleheads w/Sara Morgan
10/16: St. Louis, MO – Jack’s Joint @ O’Connell’s Pub
10/17: Rocky River, OH – Tartine Bistro
10/18: Cuyahoga Falls, OH, – Jenks 1929
10/19: Thomas, WV – The Purple Fiddle
11/02: Madison, WI – Harmony Bar
11/03: Des Moines, IA – xBk Live
11/05: Weston, MO – The Whiskey Snug
12/16: Kansas City, MO – Black Box
02/08: Panhandle, TX – Buffalo Grass Steakhouse
02/09: Santa Fe, NM – GiGi Performance Space