From combine to recording studio: Sask.'s Hunter Brothers forge music career
Brothers from Shaunavon sharing country music and farming roots
Growing up on a farm near Shaunavon, Sask., there were three main staples in the Hunter household: farming, hockey, and music.
Now, the Hunter Brothers are hanging up their skates and stepping away from their combines to release their new single El Dorado.
The song reflects what it's like to cruise down Saskatchewan's rural roads, something the five brothers — Luke, J.J., Ty, Brock, and Dusty — know well.
"We grew up with a grandfather on my dad's side that was very musical, self-taught in about five or six instruments," J.J., who is the oldest brother, told CBC's Afternoon Edition host Garth Materie.
"I remember as a kid working on the farm with grandpa and going in for lunch and having him sit up on the piano bench as he taught us how to chord and play on the piano."
J.J. said that their mother put the brothers in piano and their father put them in skates. They also sang in their local church. As they got older, the Hunter brothers moved around the country playing on hockey teams.
"That's where we got our start and the way life went is we were away playing hockey in the winter time at various junior and pro teams, and then we'd come back and put the crop in on the farm in the springtime," J.J. explained.
"Summer weekends were used up for singing at festivals across Western Canada."
Not long ago, they all decided to head back to their roots at the farm, and J.J. said music was part of the decision.
"Making the decision to step away from the game of hockey was tough but coming back home to the farm was something that we were pursuing," he said.
The brothers signed their first record deal with Open Road Recordings, have released their first single and are putting the final touches on their album. J.J said they are getting their sound out and looking to 2017 for a cross-Canada tour, but it doesn't mean they are ready to leave the farm behind.
"We are moving ahead 100 per cent with the farm, that's where our homes are — in Shaunavon. At the same time we are trying to be progressive with our steps in music," he said.
J.J added that remembering where they come from is very important.
"We appreciate the support of our home province. It means a lot," he said.