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The WDVX Blue Plate Special – 12/5 – Senie Hunt / AC Sapphire and Kendall Lujan
December 5, 2022 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Senie Hunt is a self-taught, singer-songwriter and percussive guitarist adopted from Sierra Leone. He brought with him an inherent passion for West African rhythms and percussion. Senie used djembe drumming as a creative outlet to process the traumas of his early childhood during Sierra Leone’s Diamond wars.
Senie’s US family owned a world-instrument import business and shared his love of music. With the help of his adoptive father, an amateur guitarist, Senie began to play the instrument at the age of 7. He learned most of what he knows through watching footage of live concerts of early influencers, like Stevie Ray Vaughan, B.B. King, and The Allman Brothers. As he learned guitar, Senie’s rhythmic instincts led him to experiment with drumming on the guitar as a way to capture the sound and rhythms of his West African roots. His experimentation lead him to his later influences such as Tommy Emmanuel, Michael Hedges and Andy Mckee.
As a teen, Senie attended Berklee’s summer music camp in Boston, and local music camps in New Hampshire. During college he enrolled in several music programs to understand music beyond its performance aspects. Senie quickly found that his work does not fit a traditional approach or style. After struggling to conform to the music school curriculum he left college to pursue music in his own way.
Senie’s playing is eclectic, powerful and artfully unique. This original approach and performance style, especially his unique percussion and live looping, sets Senie apart from other acoustic guitarists. Senie composes continuously and has a large body of work for one so young. In 2020, he was awarded the Innovators award at the GSM Music Awards for his guitar mastery, and was nominated for best male act of the year by the New England Music Awards in 2021. He has featured as the opening act and shared the stage with several well established artists such as the legendary Richard Thompson, The Wailers, The Levin Brothers, Robert Randolph, The Brooks Young Band, Daby Touré and Recycled Percussions.
AC Sapphire’s serpentine songs weave their way through dreamy desert landscapes. Simple subjects become complex observations in her poetic songwriting style. Reverb laden, densely layered rock ‘n’ roll -droning intricate guitar play and percussive drums make the album Desert Car as sensitive as it is exciting. Sapphire has been heralded in Pop Matters, Glide Magazine, Audiofemme, American Songwriter. She’s toured with Lauren Ruth Ward, recorded with Kyle Craft, and is always championing other women and non binary folks in the music industry. Her long awaited album Desert Car will be released July 16th on American Standard Time Records.
The striking talents of rising Portland talent Kendall Lujan will be impossible to miss in the coming year. Her indie-operatic voice stratifies songs through octave runs, making moody, melodic folk rock. To rise out of Portland’s flush music scene is no easy feat, Lujan has been making herself heard by singing harmonies in AC Sapphire’s backing band The Shoulderpads. Early next year we’ll have her first EP.
In her latest project Lujan steps out in front of the band. Many folks introduction to Lujan will be “Another”, a song of lingering desire that floats Lujan’s vocal range over a small symphony of archtop guitar and strings. Her strengthy voice –which ranges from mountain holler to bird-like warble, seems to hang in the air. She sings a song about retracing steps to the point where love was lost, and resolves to regain that trail in another life.