By Christina Vinson theboot.com
Nashville-based folk-Americana band Humming House shot a music video for their song “Hitch Hike” at the Grand Canyon this past summer, and readers of The Boot are getting to see the clip first.
“Hitch Hike” comes from the five-member band’s most recent record, Revelries, which was released at the end of March on Rock Ridge Music. Justin Wade Tam (songwriter, vocals), Leslie Rodriguez (vocals), Ben Jones (acoustic bass), Josh Wolak (mandolin) and Bobby Chase (fiddle) make up the group.
The quintet’s intricate harmonies are an arresting partner to the canyon’s mesmerizing beauty and vastness, and the awe-inducing views were not lost on the band, who had been cooped up in a van all day. Instead of its usual five passengers, the van was carrying six people: the group plus French videographer Arnaud Reguigne, who directed the “Hitch Hike” music video. He was on the road with Humming House to garner footage for a documentary he’s creating, but it was pure luck that he was along when they visited the famed national park.
The song’s performance and video’s shoot were rather spontaneous, but as Rodriguez explains, it’s sometimes the most spur-of-the-moment decisions that unhinge the most emotions, beauty and freedom.
“When all of us first got a glimpse of the Grand Canyon, we were spellbound … Our first (very appropriate) response to the endless, breathtaking view was to sing “I Believe I Can Fly” straight into the canyon,” she recalls. “Arnaud caught that moment on video and then gently encouraged us to try playing our own songs as the sun was setting. What started with us joking around with R. Kelly harmonies turned into a quick-and-dirty live video shoot of “Hitch Hike.”
“We couldn’t have asked for a better stage,” Rodriguez continues, “and Arnaud did an amazing job capturing the whole scene!”
Adds Tam, “”Hitch Hike” has been a Humming House song since 2011 … It felt like an old song to the band by the time it finally debuted on Revelries, even though it had never been previously released. The narrative of the song is about a hobo hitchhiking out west to the Rockies. He is attracted to the mystical qualities of the southwestern desert mesas and the high of its natural beauty.”
Given Tam’s explanation, it’s clear that the Grand Canyon was the perfect place to sing — and shoot a video for — “Hitch Hike.”
While Humming House probably won’t make it back to the Grand Canyon anytime soon, they will be touring quite a bit this fall. The band recently performed on Mountain Stage and is playing at Nashville’s Live on the Green on Thursday (Sept. 10); they will also be joining Kacey Musgraves on the road in October. For more information on Humming House’s tour schedule, visit HummingHouse.com.