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New Richmond band to play at Basilica Block Party

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The band "Hunting Club" has developed a strong following around the Twin Cities. An appearance in Minneapolis' "Basilica Block Party" on July 9 should enhance the band's growing fan base.

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Three of the five band members are New Richmond natives. The Steen brothers, Justin and Kyle, are in their second band together. Their first band was Ekoflo. They are joined in Hunting Club by Bob DuBois.

Hunting Club does frequent shows around the Twin Cities music scene, playing such venues as First Avenue and The Fine Line.

Hunting Club is scheduled to play on the Vita.mn stage at the Basilica Block Party on Saturday, July 9. They are scheduled to be the second band to appear on the Vita.mn stage that night. The Basilica Block Party is one of the largest live music events in the Twin Cities each summer.

All five band members play several different instruments and they switch roles within the band on nearly every song. Defining the band's style is tricky, because there are so many elements involved in their music.

Justin Steen said there is a rock element to their music, but the style of the indie band stretches in many different directions.

"Our music is very layered; atmospheric sounding," Steen said.

The band's style has caught on with the college radio scene. Their songs are most likely to be heard on The Current and the University of Minnesota's "Radio K." They are also occasionally heard on "Cities 97."

Anyone interested in purchasing Hunting Club music can do so through their website (www.huntingclubm usic.com). Their website has links to several sites, including www.bandcamp.com, from which their music can be purchased. Their songs are also available on Itunes.

The Steens released three albums while they were with Ekoflo. Since forming Hunting Club they have delivered one EP and one album. The album "The Plaid Album," was released a year ago. The plan is to release their second album this fall. Steen said they would plan a tour to go along with the album release. They'd like to tour the west coast and the northwest.

"We'd love to go somewhere else and see what their opinion of our music is," Steen said.

The Steens and DuBois weren't involved in music in high school. They were all involved in athletics. Justin Steen was a top distance runner for New Richmond High School and Kyle Steen was a starting post player on the boys basketball team. DuBois had exceptional speed, which he put to use in several sports.

"We eventually found our real passion," Justin Steen said.

The music seed was planted while Justin was in college. He caught mono and couldn't run for several months.

"I suddenly had four of my days back," Steen said.

He began playing guitar and was hooked. He quickly got his younger brother involved and the music began to flow. They said the music interest comes from their dad, Mitch.

"Oh yeah, he's a rocker from way back," Justin said.

When the Steens began forming Hunting Club, they brought in DuBois, who they knew slightly in high school. They also added bassist Nate Dykstra and lead vocalist Eric Pasi.

The Steen brothers wrote the opening tracks that Hunting Club released, but now all of the band members are involved in the writing.

"It's producing even better stuff," Justin Steen said. "We all have a vision of what we'd like the music to be."

Hunting Club's music has drawn significant attention from critics from all over the country.

Here's a comment from The City Pages on the band's musical style:

"Patience and persistence aren't exactly the first words that come to mind when describing most rock bands, but in the case of Hunting Club they couldn't be more apt. The local quintet's guitar-driven post rock is intricately layered and carefully arranged, the hallmarks of diligent craftsmanship and a willingness to let their ideas unfold at a measured pace."

These comments came from blogger Eric Burg:

"On their first full length album, Minneapolis' own Hunting Club has exceeded all expectations by crafting an album worthy of praise and attention outside of the local scene. From the instrumental lead-in track "How'd it all get Burned," a track which sounds eerily familiar to Broken Social Scene's instrumental go around, to the compounding and powerful "Cactai" which rounds out the 11 track debut, Hunting Club have distinguished themselves as a band ripe with talent and a perfect album in-tow."

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