The Story of HuDost...
“HuDost has a folk quality yet is quite postmodern; the band offers new takes on ancient words and melodies, cross-cultural hybrid transcendental chill-out music with an edge.… This is not fluffy new-age music—it’s serious, complex fare with no aversion to addressing agony. Sommer’s vocal execution is precisely orchestrated, her voice-opening, hollow-toned vortexes piercing through the tough spots. ” - Chronogram Magazine
Many years before receiving praise from NPR, ranking on the Billboard charts, or winning prestigious awards, something magical happened; a teenaged Moksha Sommer was reading the lush words of the Persian poet Rumi in her Montreal apartment and wildly decided to join friends for a spur of the moment trip to North Carolina for a Rumi Festival put on by Turkish Sufis. It was there that, from across a room of dancers, Jemal Wade Hines was playing frame drum and heard Sommer’s voice cutting through the crowd and jolting his heart awake. That moment was the beginning of HuDost.
Since then, Sommer and Hines have married as a couple, as musicians, as activists, and as parents; in all of those they are guided by love. They are highly engaged activists, doing advocacy work as Representatives for ONE (a non-profit organization working to end extreme poverty) and joining forces with other non-profit organizations. They have discovered the alchemy and power of the combination of music and activism and how change can be effectively created through those tools. Recently, they partnered with minister/activist William J. Barber II and the Poor People’s Campaign on one of their new songs.
HuDost’s last album 'of Water + Mercy' received rave reviews and as an independent release reached #24 in the BILLBOARD SALES CHARTS for Folk/Americana also winning the 2020 Independent Music Award for Social Action Song. In the last year they also received two of the 'Best of Nashville 2020’ awards.
In November, 2021 HuDost will be releasing a new album, ‘Anthems of Home’ that defines real, honest love and is a lush, breathtaking original collection of compositions that ask important questions. Special guests on the album and music videos include Jars of Clay, The Accidentals, Christie Lenée and additional music video cameos from Kevin Clash (Elmo), Kevin Hearn (from the Barenaked Ladies), Cy Curnin (from The FIXX), GangstaGrass, Alana Bridgewater, Nawal, Hymn for Her, Jai Uttal, and more. The early singles have already received press coverage in over 130 major news publications and radio including CTV News, The Observer, Roots Music Canada, All Access Music, and received the ‘Best Music Video of the Week’ from Blues and Roots Radio.
HuDost's music is a powerful voice for life's journey and discovery. It is through music that the losses and gains, pains and triumphs, and excruciating beauty of life can be given a voice of empathy. Both critics and fans have said time and time again that the music of HuDost is this very expression.
Highlight performances include: Bonnaroo, Resident band at FloydFest, BhaktiFest, World Café Live, Blissfest, The ARK, Alex Grey’s CoSM, the Salvador Dali Museum, Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival, headlining The Islands Folk Fest (Vancouver), WMNF’s Tropical Heat Wave Festival, The Levitt Pavilions, WoodSongs at the Kentucky Theater (on PBS), Nashville’s Bluebird Café, Music City Roots, Tim Robbins’ WTF?! Fest, The Montreal Folk Festival, The Stan Rogers Folk Festival, and many more.
Highlight Performances/Collaborations Include:
Ani DiFranco (opener), Philip Glass (opener), Jon Anderson (YES) (co-writer), Snatam Kaur (performances), Steve Kilbey (The Church) (co-wrote full album), Ramy Essam, California Guitar Trio, Bell Orchestre, Neko Case, Jim Lauderdale, Omar Faruk Tekbilek, Mercan Dede, Malcolm Burn, Oz Fritz, Vance Powell, and many more.
“Driven by Sommer's lush expressive alto and Hines' skilled strumming and electric guitar licks, HuDost's live performances feel as sacred as a church service, without the identifiers which can separate and shame non-believers.” - Pure Pop For Now People
“Teeming with rich, iridescent vocals layered over powerful electric guitar licks, driving percussion and the haunting church organ-esque tones of the harmonium accented by the shimmering strings of Shahi Baaja (Electric Indian Auto-Harp), Bazouki and Dulcinet, HuDost’s one-of-a-kind sound is built on the impeccable musicianship of life-partners Jemal Wade Hines and Moksha Sommer. HuDost performs as either a duo or along with a band of fellow eclectic musicians—often engaging concertgoers through multiple mediums by weaving performance art and dance into their shows for an unforgettable experience that will leave audiences spellbound. ” - Levitt Foundation