Hunter Wainscott, a Frankfort resident and native, has been playing guitar from a young age. From singing to playing drums, his siblings are all musical. Hunter invites his brothers, Eli and River, to play with him when they can.
Solo acoustic shows and band gigs fill up most of Hunter’s schedule as his band, The Vagabonds, comprised of Brad Moore on bass, Chris Xioufarides, front man from The Scratch Thing, on guitar, and Gibson Wells on drums brings even more energy to his shows. Hunter describes their vibe as homegrown with a dash of rock and country.
Hunter Wainscott and the Vagabonds’ four-song EP features Hunter on vocals and rhythm guitar, Chris Bartley on drums, Brad Moore on bass, and Gibson Wells on lead guitar and background vocals. Wells also engineered and produced the project. Chris Bartley was an original member of the Vagabonds.
“I do perform country songs at my shows, but it is getting less and less that way,” Wainscott said. “I would say that my biggest influence would be folk Americana, rock… I am very influenced by Celtic music and traditional Appalachian music as well.”
Wainscott laughed when asked which original song is his favorite.
“That is like asking, ‘Which child is your favorite?’”
“Look My Way,” his first single, was written when Wainscott and his wife were dating.
“I remember being on the beach in Michigan with Alexa, and this song just flooding in,” he said. “It came together very quickly.”
“Is It Alright” has a hook that resonates with listeners and brings healing. “Vagabond” is a relatable, personal song and Hunter’s favorite.
Wainscott has played many memorable gigs over the past few years. Frankfort Sports Club, Dec. 2018 was his first time playing in a club.
“I started going up there to play at the open mic hosted by Jason Wells,” Wainscott said. “It was the first time I had ever played out somewhere that wasn’t a church. The owner (Steve Kindle, a Frankfort native and longtime musician) approached me and asked if I would be interested in playing some night there, so I did. It was such a cool experience playing songs that I had written for people that I didn’t know. To be received well and getting a little confidence boost. To think maybe I can do this someday or more often or full time someday was very inspirational for me.”
Madam Carroll in March 2020 was another memorable gig with Chris Bartley on drums.
“The Coronavirus was something we didn’t know much about at the time,” Wainscott said. “It was about two weeks later that the state of Indiana shut down. The gig was special in a way because it was our last gig before Covid, and it was probably one of our biggest shows up to that point as far as the number of people there, and the crowd responded really well. It was a good experience for us as a band to feel validated in what we were trying to do.”
Wainscott strives to put a message of hope and unity into his music and his shows.
“The main message I want to send with my music is that I am going through the same things as every person on this earth,” he said. “We have struggles. We have things that we go through, and we all have ways of expressing and deal with our frustrations, and for me that’s music. I don’t even feel that my songs are inspired but more provoked from things that I go through. I am provoked into writing about it, and it becomes a song. Hopefully, it becomes a song that people can connect to and relate to and walk away feeling better about what they are going through or dealing with. Just a message of hope and unity, really. Especially right now with things that we are going through as a country.”
Wainscott is looking forward to The Scene that is emerging in Frankfort.
“As we come out of Covid slowly, it is encouraging to see the amount of participation that is coming out for the music scene in Frankfort with Creekside Music and Prairie Creek Park,” he said. “I’ve seen a growing interest for people to play music and to come out and see live music. If all of us (musicians and artists) can come together and support each other, we can have a thriving music scene in Frankfort. I am looking forward to seeing what happens.”
Find Hunter Wainscott on Facebook at www.facebook.com/hwainscottmusic for the latest updates to his schedule. You can find him in Frankfort at Johnny V’s from 6-8 p.m. every Tuesday. He will also perform during the Fourth of July celebration at TPA Park and on July 31 at the Hot Dog Festival.