Hunter Muskett

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Hunter Muskett (1968–74) was an English folk-rock band

Hunter Muskett
Origin Avery Hill College, SE London
Genres Folk-Rock
Labels Decca Nova, Bradley's Records, Cherry Tree Records, Limefield
Past members Terry Hiscock, Chris George, Doug Morter, Rog Trevitt

Beginnings[edit]

The group was formed at Avery Hill College in South London when Terry Hiscock and Chris George were joined by fellow student Doug Morter.[1] The band’s name was taken from an anecdote about an eccentric Cornishman.

Hunter Muskett began by playing in London folk-clubs and colleges mixing original songs with acoustic folk and blues. Unusually for the time they used a pa system to balance guitars and voices.[2]

Recording and Touring[edit]

The band signed to Decca Nova after being spotted playing at The Troubadour in London’s Earls Court. On the resulting album, ‘Every Time You Move’ (1970), produced by Kim Margolis, the trio’s acoustic sound was augmented by Danny Thompson (uncredited) on double bass and orchestration arranged by Richard Hewson.[3] Bass-player Rog Trevitt joined shortly after the album's release. The Decca Nova label lasted less than a year.

From 1971 to 1974 the band toured[4] the UK and on the continent, also making one trip to Morocco. Although mainly working the folk/college/ circuit, they also played festivals (Cambridge, St Albans, Laycock, Norwich) and major venues, notably as support to Ralph McTell (UK Spring Tour 1973) and Amon Düül (touring Belgium and Northern France in autumn 1973). Radio appearances included BBC's Country Meets Folk, Pete Drummond’s Night Ride and Sounds on Sunday.

In 1973 managers Mike Hutson and George Fenton (then working as George Howe) signed the band to Derek Johns at Bradley's Records where they became one of three acts (alongside Paul Brett[5] and Kala[6] ) in a label launch involving considerable promotional expenditure.[7] The album ‘Hunter Muskett’ (1973) [8][9] produced by Keith Relf also featured Michael Giles on drums, Jim McCarty on percussion, Ken Freeman and John ‘Rabbit’ Bundrick (uncredited) on synthesiser.

Plans to add a permanent drummer were never realised although Andrew Steele played at the Royal Festival Hall (May 1973) and worked on demos for a projected second Bradley’s album, whilst Roger Swallow came in for Pete Drummond’s Night Ride (autumn 1973).

Break-up and afterwards[edit]

In 1974 a change of musical policy at Bradleys (now under ex-Mojo Stuart Slater) resulted in the label parting with all three of its original acts in a successful quest for hit singles. With no record label and finding the economics of keeping on the road increasingly difficult the band decided to split.

Of the four members only Doug Morter has continued to work as a professional musician combining a solo career with band and duo work. Now based in Denmark his credits include: Richard Digance, Magna Carta, The Albion Band, Maddy Prior Band, Then Came The Wheel, Jerry Donahue, The Backroom Boys and The Gathering Britannia.[10] Chris George, who had built instruments for Hunter Muskett, is a highly regarded luthier.[11][12][13]

Following the official re-release of ‘Everytime You Move' in 2010[14] Hunter Muskett reformed for a reunion performance. The band now tours occasionally and in 2013 released a CD of new material, 'That Was Then This Is Now', produced by John Ellis and Bill Leader.

Discography[edit]

Albums

Every Time You Move – (9 October 1970, Decca Nova, SND20) Format: vinyl 12" 33rpm. Recorded at West Hampstead studios, summer 1970. Produced by Kim Margolis

Hunter Muskett – (9 March 1973, Bradleys Records) Formats: BRADL 1003 vinyl 12" 33rpm, BRA 1003 cassette, Y8BRA1003 cartridge. Recorded at Island no 2 studio, Basing Street, autumn 1972. Produced by Keith Relf

Bradley’s Roadshow Live at the Marquee (1973, Bradleys, BRADB 4003) Format: vinyl 12" 33rpm. A promotional album featuring two Hunter Muskett tracks produced by Keith Relf and Geoff Calver. Recorded live at The Marquee Club, Wardour Street, London on 25 March 1973 - the final night of Bradley's promotional road-show

That Was Then This Is Now - (September 2013, Limefield, LFCD018) Format: CD. Recorded at Limefield Studio, Manchester, 2012/13. Produced by John Ellis & Bill Leader

Single

John Blair c/w Silver Coin – (23 February 1973, Bradleys, BRAD 103) Format: vinyl 7" 45rpm. Side A recorded at Island no 1 studio, early 1973. Drums by Michael Giles. Produced by Keith Relf. Side B taken from the album Hunter Muskett.

Official re-release

Every Time You Move – (2009, Cherry Tree Records, CRTREE001) Format: CD. Includes 16-page booklet of lyrics, photos and early history of the band.

Cover versions of Hunter Muskett songs by other artists

Silver Coin (Terry Hiscock) appears on the following albums:

Thank You For - Bridget St John

Sunsets I've Galloped Into - Archie Fisher

All Those Songs - Derek Brimstone

Hand Pict - Ken Campbell

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hokey Pokey – newsletter of Richard Thompson and chums no 23 Summer 1991 page 12
  2. ^ Melody Maker (2 January 1971) - Muskett Primed For Success - Band interview
  3. ^ See booklet enclosed with Cherry Tree re-issue CD
  4. ^ Gilbert, Jerry Sounds (13 May 1972) - At The Top Of The Road - Band interview
  5. ^ Baul Brett/Bradley's Records
  6. ^ Phil Shiva Jones - Official site
  7. ^ For example: Melody Maker (3 March 1973) pp31-34 - Centre four-page advertising spread
  8. ^ Gilbert, Jerry – Sounds (17 March 1973)- Hunter Muskett (Bradley’s Records) album review
  9. ^ Joynson ,Vernon The Tapestry of Delights - The Comprehensive Guide to British Music of the Beat, R&B, Psychedelic and Progressive Eras 1963-1976, ISBN 1-899855-04-1
  10. ^ Battersby, Bob Acoustic (April 2010, issue 40) - The Invisible Man Of Folk Rock
  11. ^ Burrluck, Dave Guitarist - Christmas 2004 (issue 258) - Chris George Custom With Variax Electronics
  12. ^ Burrluck, Dave Guitarist - Summer 2006 (issue 279) - Front End - Chris George Custom
  13. ^ Burrluck, Dave Guitarist- January 2008 (issue 298) - Chris George Custom Goldtop
  14. ^ Zarebski, Jan Record Collector (August 2009, Issue 368) - Cherry Tree CD review

External links[edit]