Walt Huntsman








What is music to you? What does it give you?

To me, music is life. It is the non-combative way in which to express emotions (including anger). It is a way to disagree with others without coming to blows or taking up arms. Over the years, music has given me refuge from the sorrows and body blows that life sometimes delivers. It has been my form of journaling and of therapy, and it is my way of relating what I think, what I see, and what I feel to the world.

What is your music dream?

At its most basic, my music dream is that one of my songs touches another. If another singer/musician thought enough of one of my songs to want to record it, that would be truly amazing.

If you could change the world - what would you start with?

Aside from getting rid of all nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction, I suppose I would start by required music education in all schools. Music is often described as the universal language, and I believe we can learn a great deal about each other and learn to communicate much better with one another through music.

Which is the most memorable song from your childhood?

Growing up, I listened to a lot of Frank Sinatra. So "It Was A Very Good Year" would be a strong contender. Don McLean's "American Pie" is another.

Who are your favorite musical artists or bands?

I tend to prefer artists and groups who are not as mainstream or well-known. So John Gorka is one. Luka Bloom is another. I love Leonard Cohen as well. There are some amazing artists here where I learn, so Rebecca Scott is a favorite. Number one, though, is probably Elvis Costello, followed closely by Squeeze.

What inspires you to make music?

The simple answer is everything. I get ideas from things I see, things I feel, things I read, and things I hear. I've written songs after watching a leaf blowing in the wind and after arguments with my wife.

What is the message you want to send with your music?

I don't know that I have a specific message, but given my stage in life, I suppose the idea that it's never too late comes to mind.

How do you feel when you perform in front of an audience?

Better all the time as I get more comfortable as a performer and develop that aspect of my music. The exception is when I am performing in front of other songwriters. Then, I still get nervous.

How do you see the musicians’ reality nowadays? What could be improved?

I think it is a mixed bag. On the one hand, musicians are or can be in total control of their music, so they don't have to be discovered or signed by a record label. On the other hand, that leaves everything up to the musician - writing, recording, marketing, promoting, distribution, and so on. While I'm sure there is plenty that could be improved, nothing specific comes to mind at the moment.

What do you think of Drooble?

Drooble looks like an interesting idea and approach for bringing musicians together. I hope it succeeds.

What frustrates you most as a musician?

I think as a local performer, finding venues and getting gigs is one frustration. A related frustration is that many places that might offer live local music are priced out of the possibility by ASCAP and BMI. (I say this as a BMI member.)

Do you support your local scene as a fan? How?

When we can, my wife and I take in local performers, especially those affiliated with the Idaho Songwriters Association.

What qualities should a musician nowadays have in order to get their music heard by a larger audience?

Talent always helps, but passion that comes across in the music is important. Energy is also a good attribute. However, it seems that a business sense may be the most important. An ability to market and promote oneself to other venues and cities is almost essential these days.

Share some awesome artists that we’ve never heard of.

Red Light Challenge, Rebecca Scott, Dan Costello, Bruce Michael Miller, John Gorka, Luka Bloom, Joseph L. Young, Lynn Tredeau.