Jason Schell’s latest release, To the Hunt, is a fun-filled tribute to life in the sportsman’s paradise, and as one might expect, Schell creates images that will ring true to anyone who has spent time on the water. The title track kicks things off as the band immediately settles into a feel-good groove led by Schell’s rhythmic strumming and Jeremy Valley’s tasteful accordion playing. Much like growing up in a musical family, growing up in a hunting and/or fishing family fosters an appreciation for what makes south Louisiana such a wonderful place to live and raise a family. To that end, Jason lives up to his part by featuring his son Harrison (vocals and duck call) on the title track—showing that he gets to live in both a sportsman’s and a musician’s paradise.
A funk-laden groove kicks off “Camp Crump” and one cannot help but feel that this a fishing camp version of “Stand Up and Get Crunk.” Valley (keyboards) and Clay Diamond (guitar) really get a chance to shine as they kick the party into overdrive with Carlo Nuccio chiming in on vocals.
“On the Boat Again” is a tip of the hat to Willie Nelson and describes a boat trip with a boat “fresh out the shop and screaming like my wife ’n’ dem.” Next up is “Hey Girl,” propelled forward by a solid beat courtesy of Schell (drums) and Mike DeLaCerda (bass). This has a real roadhouse blues feel as Diamond and Valley provide fine solos. Schell and company switch modes and slow things down on “Blue Saturday” providing ample opportunity for Valley to deliver another fine performance on keys. Diamond closes things out with a heartfelt solo over Schell’s steady drumming.
Schell closes things out with “Shiners on the Yo-Yo.” This is the only song I’ve ever heard written from the point of view of shiners (bait for you non-fishers). It’s a humorous romp and will have you singing along for sure. So next time you are out fishing, make sure you catch your limit of fun with Jason Schell’s To the Hunt.