Hunter At Sunrise Is Alive, Well And Part of “The Scene”

by Hunter Hughes

Back in February, out of the clear blue, I began receiving messages from members of the professional network LinkedIn congratulating me on my work anniversary. Odd, I thought, my day job's anniversary isn't until July.  Then it occurred to me they were referring to Hunter At Sunrise on Alt Radio, my longtime side project.  It also came to me that the show has been going strong for six years.  Man, I thought, the time has surely flown.

Through it all,  I have produced close to 300 acoustic session interviews on the show featuring national, regional and local artists. They have been the signature event of Hunter At Sunrise, which airs live every Sunday from 7 to 11 am eastern time and is On Demand at WHRV.org and HunterAtSunrise.com.   Many of the interviews have been live in the studio, and some have been recorded on location as if they were live.  I've also programmed hours of acoustic and eclectic music both new and old, a mix devoted to waking you up the right way on a Sunday morning.

The program started in the early 90s as Sunrise on the Coast (for a brief period Dave McMahon was the host) and then later morphed into Sunrise on Sunday on 93.7 Bob FM.  In 2009, I moved the show to a new and quite different programming platform created by John Heimerl of WHRO....Alt Radio, originally dubbed RadioNtenna. When it started, Alt Radio was broadcast on one of WHRV's digital channels, HD 3.  Recently it was moved to HD 2.  You could only pick it up on a digital radio.

Given that, I decided to put added emphasis on the show's web component by streaming Alt Radio, and thus Hunter At Sunrise,  live on the show's website HunterAtSunrise.com  In fact, the show has become a study in contrasts as I've mixed old school cd playing with modern day streaming on WHRV.org, AltRadio.org,  iTunes, Shoutcast, and Radiotime.  It's even available for free on the WHRO smartphone app.

I am very proud of our website and internet presence.  Mike Rau of A Sound Idea designed the website, and our Facebook page has been developed and maintained with the help of my producer, Denise Pons. Both,  like me, work on a voluntary basis to create a program designed to be a quiet place between this week and next week.

After six years, I am excited about the relationships Hunter At Sunrise is forging with the community and thus, "The Scene" in coastal Virginia. Our affiliation and shared support with Victorian Tea Station in Phoebus is currently in it's third year. The venue is home to award-winning open mikes presenting many new and exciting artists.

Hunter At Sunrise has also been a longtime supporter of Tidewater Arts Outreach's Sea Level Singer/Songwriter Festival in the spring, helping to bring national recording artists to the area.

The show has other projects in the works. Hunter At Sunrise is working to bring back the Sunrise to Sunset Acoustic Music Festival as a harvest festival in the Fall of 2016 in Town Point Park.  And the show is partnering with Norfolk's Five Points Farmers Market to present original local artists. The artist appears on Hunter At Sunrise and then goes to the market to play on its stage during its Sunday brunch.

So as usual there is a lot going on with Hunter At Sunrise. But what we are proudest of is the preservation of old school free-form radio and especially the discovery of many local, national and often unknown musical artists playing live at the end of every show.

To those of you who already join us every Sunday morning for Hunter At Sunrise, thanks so much for listening.  For the rest, I hope you will tune in. You'll be in for a grand awakening.

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