Published : Thursday, March 8, 2018 | 6:42 AM
Blake Shelton was the only coach on The Voice who turned his chair Monday night, after hearing Pasadena-born Brett Hunter play his ukulele and sing Carl Carlton’s “She’s a Bad Mama Jama.”
“Man, I’ve gotta tell you, I’ve never been more surprised,” Shelton said after turning around to see Hunter in Monday’s The Voice blind auditions. “I did not expect to see a dude up there playing a ukulele.”
Shelton said he’d found the new Tiny Tim in Hunter.
“What is wrong with you guys?” Shelton asked fellow judges Adam Levine, Alicia Keys and Kelly Clarkson after hugging Hunter. “I have the next Tiny Tim!”
Tiny Tim, or Herbert Buckingham Khaury in real life, was an active singer, ukulele, guitar and mandolin player, and musical archivist until his death in 1996. He started playing for his parents at home at 11, and later in life discovered he could sing better in a falsetto. That and the ukulele became his trademark. Curiously, Tiny Tim played the ukulele with his left hand, and the guitar with his right.
Hunter automatically gets into Team Blake on The Voice. On Tuesday, Hunter posted on his Instagram account, bretthuntermusic: “Me and @blakeshelton are taking this all the way!!”
Hunter, 30, was born in Pasadena and currently resides in Oakland. After writing soulful tunes for the better part of a decade, Hunter started his latest project – The Brett Hunter Band – which hit the road for their first tour in January. The band, featuring Tim Marconett on guitar, Daniel Erik on bass and Patrick Shields on percussion, blends Hunter’s distinct songwriting with an eclectic groove that captivates audiences and gets everyone dancing, according to the band’s profile on their website, www.bretthunterband.com.
From playing side stages at Outside Lands Music Festival and High Sierra Music Festival to being featured as an artist-in-residence at Camp Grounded, a digital detox summer camp for adults, Hunter and his band have had some incredible opportunities to share their music. They’ve played shows up and down the California coast, from Smileys in Bolinas to The Mint in Los Angeles to Winston’s in San Diego.
The band recorded their first EP, “Love and Understanding,” at Spartan Recording, a vintage airstream trailer turned recording studio on the Santa Barbara coast. For their next release, Brett Hunter Band is once again ditching the typical studio route for a more rustic approach that’s true to the band’s sound. Their upcoming full-length album, set for a late-summer release, will be recorded at their very own Goatshed Studios in Castro Valley.