Singer, songwriter and guitarist Tim Husk has been playing music since he was a toddler. He was playing a toy guitar by the time he was 3, strumming a real guitar by 7 and wrote his first original song by 8.
Although his parents were from the Northeast, Husk grew up in Durham, and became a part of the Tar Heel State music scene at a young age. Eventually, he set his sights west and migrated to the mountain-surrounded, music-filled town of Asheville. There he attempted to go to college, but that didn’t last very long as Husk found himself in a band and playing music live. Soon it became his chief diversion.
For about four years, Husk played with Freeway Revival, but now he has struck out on his own and formed a brand new group with his friends called The Awen Family Band. This all-star project features members of other well-known ensembles such as Toubab Krewe, Dr. Bacon, TUB and Reliably Bad. The collaboration features Husk on guitar and vocals, Justin Perkins on drums, Matt Laird on bass, Daniel Combs on keyboards and Jackson Weldon on mandolin and lap steel guitar.
Husk and the Awen Family Band are performing in Boone this Friday, June 7. More information on this show can be found on our Nightlife Listings, page 23.
Recently, Husk moved back to Durham to be closer to family. Still, whenever he ventures west to gig or rehearse with the Awen Family Band, he can’t wait to see the first of the mountains on the horizon as he drives on I-40 towards Asheville.
“I love the Western North Carolina Mountains,” said Husk. “Every time I see them, I want to come back. When I am driving that way, I will see the mountains in the distance a little past Hickory. Then, they disappear for a while, and then, they show up again. Plus, it has been really hot in Durham, so I am looking forward to the cool breezes in Boone.”
Husk had full intention of completing his higher education, but the draw of playing live music circumvented his plans.
“I went to the University of North Carolina-Asheville for Music Technology for about a half of a semester,” said Husk. “Then, I met the folks in Freeway Revival and began to tour with them. I had been playing shows every weekend since high school within a two- or three-hour drive radius of home. We weren’t making any money at that time, except maybe made some money for gas and an extra $20 here and there. But once in Asheville, I looked on Craigslist for bands and gigs and the Freeway folks lived about a mile from school and were looking for a guitar player. We met up and they said, ‘Hey, we are doing a festival and some shows in the next couple of weeks. You’re in the band if you want to go.’ That is when I stopped going to classes.”
Fast forward a few years later and a new musical chapter in Husk’s life came about as the Awen Family Band formed. With this new project, the groove is fun and deliberately positive in vibe.
“This will be the first real run of Awen Family shows,” said Husk. “We all realized that we think the same about music and what we are trying to do, so we decided to bring people together who feel the same way about playing music. We wanted to create a positive atmosphere that people can pick up on when they see our shows. I think what we are playing right now focuses on roots music in general, while touching on a lot of different genres. It is definitely funky as we try to include New Orleans-type of beats with some gospel roots, too.”
The goal of the Awen Family Band is to perpetuate an affirmative groove that lifts people up while they are having fun.
“Now, our music is starting to take a shape of its own,” said Husk. “We like to play high energy music that gets you moving and gets you back to feeling human again, remembering where we are all came from. A lot of pop and electronic music can get non-human sounding. We like to tap into where music started and all of the different types of roots music that flowed from that, but we also like to do it with electric instruments and by keeping it funky. As for this weekend, we all have some friends who live in Boone so we’re excited to go back and see everyone and make some music in the mountains.”