Hunter Glaskae of the Hunter Rea Band performed an acoustic set of original songs from his new album Lovin’ Ain’t Free at the Gin complex Friday evening. His three-hour show included a series of blues-rock songs, personal anecdotes, and a five-minute break to hold a parrot brought in by an audience member.
The full-length album’s release is the realization of a big dream for the band.
“It’s always been our goal [to release an album],” Glaskae said. “Since its release, we’ve gotten some really good feedback and have gotten connected with a lot of good people.”
The band’s music focuses heavily on three aspects: songwriting, making an impact for the Kingdom and creating a soulful sound.
“We are a Christian-based band and the most important thing for us is our Christian identity,” he said.
Their shared faith has been a consistent cornerstone of the Hunter Rea band since its inception in 2009. Glaskae and bandmate Adam Rea met at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor playing football.
The pair’s career in music launched as they played various events for the university as well as around Waco and Belton.
“[UMHB] gave us a lot of good opportunities,” Glaskae said. “Now, anytime we get to come back and play for UMHB, [we] love doing that.”
Eventually the two members quit football to pursue their band’s dream, and added three other band members to complete their five-person band.
Glaskae, who graduated with an international business degree, decided to pursue music full-time when he realized he didn’t feel quite right in corporate America.
“I recently left my job at McLane Company,” he said. “I felt like the Lord was telling me to move. I felt like [He] was telling me to pursue some different goals and dreams.”
Up next for the band is a radio tour around Texas and surrounding states, beginning in West Texas on Wednesday. The traveling tour will consist of a series of interviews with local country radio stations and will take them throughout Oklahoma and Kansas as well as Texas.
“My greatest advice is to get out there and sound horrible,” Glaskae said. “I think the greatest thing is just to go out and be yourself and don’t let anybody change you.”
Glaskae mentioned that their first few shows were full of missteps.
“We were horrible. We weren’t seasoned musicians. We just threw together what we could,” he said. “As a matter of fact, my mic fell off the stage because the stage was so rocky. I asked an audience member, ‘would you mind putting that back there?’”
Despite malfunctions of all kinds on stage, Glaskae and the Hunter Rea Band have found that singing what they believe in is the only way to love what they do.
“Know what’s important to you,” Glaskae said. “And know where your desires are before you go.”