Stephen Kelly Hunt


Stephen Kelly Hunt is 31 and originally from Kentucky, but these days you can find him most nights on Broadway in Nashville at Legends Corner, Second Fiddle, The Stage or Crossroads. From the very first night I heard him play, I could tell immediately that he was something special. I have never seen a musician quite like him on Broadway. Stephen has such an amazing musical ability and eclectic taste in the music that he plays. From his guitar riffs to his genuine desire to connect with his fans, he is truly impressive. Not only does Stephen capture the heart of every girl in the room, but also it is very obvious that he is a natural musician at heart. From the moment Stephen steps onto the stage, you can tell that he’s hard working and clearly dedicated to his craft and his fans. Over the past few weeks, I have really invested in seeing what all he has to offer the music world, and this guy definitely does not disappoint. This week, I had the opportunity to get to know a little bit more about him. As I suspected, he truly impressed me even more in this interview with his humble, down-to-earth nature.

What’s the most challenging part (to you) about being a musician?

The emotional/physical/mental taxing that happens to me on stage. If I do my job very well, I give away everything I’ve got to give away during a performance. If the gig is terrible, I give 150% of my mind and body into making it the gig I want it to be. I drive home from every single gig feel very low and depleted, even after incredible gigs. I often read about post-gig depression.

Who inspires you musically? What’s the one album you can’t live without?

Of course that’s a huge list, but I’m most inspired by Jon Bon Jovi (and band), for their passionate performances on albums, and Jon’s unbelievable song writing. Many of my favorite songs are Bon Jovi songs. Don Henley also really inspires me. I couldn’t live without The Wallflowers “Bringing Down The Horse” album.

What has been your most embarrassing moment on stage?

I’m confident that my most embarrassing moments, I was too drunk to be aware/remember (I’m 4 years sober, I had a severe drinking problem). My most embarrassing moment was when a venue paid my band an absurd amount of money to play, and the drummer and and bass player were too drunk to function before the gig even started. The other guitar player, to cope with the situation, ended up hammered. I was 4 months sober at that time. It was a nightmare.

What do you consider your biggest accomplishment (so far) in music/what has been the coolest experience you’ve had in your career so far?

There was a Monday night show that happened at The Stage in Nashville, it was the Twang-Free night. It was a TOTAL industry hang, the best musicians in town, and celebrities, would line up every Monday night to see these guys play. It had a PROFOUND impact on me. Between 2005 and 2012, I drove 4 hours to see the show about 200 times. In July of 2012, despite not living in Nashville, or really being a part of the scene, I was asked to play as the “fifth man” one night. People still find that hard to believe.

What is one piece of advice you’d like to give other artists that are out there trying to make it?

Have a tangible, spoken definition of your expectations of a music career. What exactly do you want? If you have listed, exactly, your goals, you’ll have a clear picture of what you must sacrifice to obtain those goals, and when the sacrifices are mounting (repo men, an air mattress on the floor because you can’t afford proper housing, driving a very humble vehicle, no dating or social life)- you’ll understand exactly why you are making those sacrifices, and whether or not you think your goals are worth all you endure/give up.

What venue do you like to perform at the most?

The Stage on Broadway, no question. Best live music bar in America.

Knowing everything that you know now, what would you do differently in your career?

We are the total sum of all of our actions, and at age 31, I like who I am, I feel successful, and I can see a future. I’ve made a TON of mistakes, I carry very ugly scars, but I’m the real deal. Maybe drinking sidetracked me, or maybe it was that period that humbled me. Maybe I didn’t understand debt when I was young, but now I have a good understanding at where wasting money gets you. So I never think about regrets, I only think about recovering from mistakes in a way that makes me stronger, more able, and more conditioned.

Do you have any big shows or projects coming up? If so, what are they? What projects are you currently working on?

If I play at The Stage on Broadway on a weekend, that’s a big deal for me. You better believe I’ll plaster that on my social media. I would like my lower Broadway career to have an “autopilot” status, so that I can spend my weekdays developing music row relationships. A deal with a major label is what’s on my mind.

What’s one thing you want your fans/future fans to know about you?

For 10 years, I have given every bit of myself to this. The most seemingly insignificant decisions a person could make, I’ve made every one of them with a music career on my mind, and done so for 10 years.

What’s your favorite way to connect with fans?

A follow-for-follow on social media, so I can see their lives and what inspires/motivates them.

This interview is proof that Stephen Kelly Hunt wants his fans to genuinely know who he is and where he came from. I’m excited to see where his talents take him. You can check out his website or connect with him via social media.


(Photo credits: Shine On Music City)

Cort Carpenter

I had the pleasure of meeting Cort Carpenter and his band a couple of years ago in downtown Nashville when they were playing at Crossroads one night. I immediately could see Co
rt truly loves performing & getting to know his fans. It’s always a great experience when you get to see Cort performing live & it has been a pleasure seeing his career grow over the past couple of years. I recently had the opportunity to interview Cort & learn a little bit more about him, and it truly reveals the love he has for his fans.

What’s the most challenging part (to you) about being a musician?

I would say the constant hard work behind the scenes (As the artist) most musicians don’t get a taste of. This is my full time career, and I spend 6 hours a day minimum on the computer taking care of the business side of things. It is not easy…

Who inspires you musically? What’s the one album you can’t live without?

I love so many different types of genres of music. I am a country singer. I love to dance to EDM. I listen to oldies frequently. The list can go on. I do love CCR though. They are one of my favorites of all time. CCR- “Chronicle” is one of my favorite CD’s ever.

What has been your most embarrassing moment on stage?

Well it wasn’t embarrassing as much as it was shocking, but I was playing the Stage one Friday night last year and one girl threw her full beer bottle at me from about three rows back. It bounced of my shoulder, but if she would have hit me in the face, it would have surely knocked out my teeth. I stopped the show and got her out of there.

What do you consider your biggest accomplishment (so far) in music? What has been the coolest experience you’ve had in your career so far?

I have had a lot of cool moments so far… The most recent one though was a show I did with Love & Theft back in my hometown in April. It was an acoustic show and the place sold out. It was crazy to see so many of my fans packed into this amazing theatre. They were singing every single one of my songs which was pretty cool.

What is one piece of advice you’d like to give other artists that are out there trying to make it?

Out work the competition. So much talent out there, you have to grind and grind. Just never give up and keep pushing.

What venue do you like to perform at the most?

Hmmm. I love a lot of venues. Going to Chicago is always fun for me because of our fan base up there. Playing at Skooters Roadhouse in Shorewood, IL has always been a favorite of mine. Love the owner, love our fans. They always come out and pack the barn up. I also really love to play the Grizzle Rose in Denver & the Oregon Jamboree in Sweet Home, OR.

What projects are you currently working on?

I am currently promoting my latest single, “Let Me See Your Koozie”. Just finished my official music video for it, and the song itself has been doing really well so far without any big radio promotion. We have some plans for the song that could take us well into 2016. Also, I am going to begin working on my next full EP which we have already started writing and should begin recording in the months to come.

Do you have any big shows coming up?

We just finished up a show with Jana Kramer. At the end of this month, we will be at Country Thunder Festival in Twin Lakes, Wisconsin July 23rd-26th warming up the stage for Jamie Lynn Spears, Tyler Farr & Blake Shelton (just to name a few). We also will be playing the Oregon Jamboree July 31st-August 2nd and will have 3 performances at it. Two full band shows, and one special acoustic tent party with some radio folks.

What do you want your fans/future fans to know about you?

I always try to help people and animals in need. People asking for money, I always try to give them something because they need the few bucks more than I do. Of course, I try to use good judgment to see if it could really help them. I feel people sometimes are down on their luck, and a couple bucks could brighten their day or help them get a coke, a water or a candy bar. 

With animals, I always try to help if I see animals in need. I’m a huge animal guy and I have always been sensitive to animals in need of help.  

Those two things are things people may not know about me. People can have their own opinion or just look away from a bad situation; however, I choose to lend a hand.

I would want them to know that they would never find another artist who cares more about his/her fans than I do. I never forget a face, and am always watching and taking notes of the fans that are helping me move up. I genuinely care about every fan I have.

What’s your favorite way to connect with fans? Pictures, Social Media, Interaction at shows?

I think social media is the most convenient way to connect, if not in person. Social media allows us to connect instantly and I think that is huge. The new APP “Periscope” has been a thrill to use because now we can stream LIVE shows, interviews, or whatever we want, instantly. This allows us to have people from all over the world watching us when we stream it. It’s free for fans, and lots of fun!

***(Periscope) is an app that allows you to get an opportunity to view an experience through someone else’s eyes. It can be downloaded for free through the Apple Store or through the Google Play store.***

You can catch Cort & his band playing most Wednesdays at Second Fiddle in Nashville. You can also see him perform at Legends Corner on most Friday nights and at Second Fiddle on most Saturday nights. Shows start at 10:30pm.


Check out the video for Cort Carpenter’s latest single “Let Me See Your Koozie”.

You can also download the single through iTunes here:


To learn more about Cort Carpenter, visit his website at

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©Photos courtesy of Angelea Photography