Self-admittedly, Corey Hunley was a “skateboard punk from a small town” as a teenager. It was only when his best friend lost interest in skating and turned to the guitar that Corey followed suit. Wanting to continue the camaraderie of his friendship, Corey asked his father to borrow a guitar, and that’s where it all began.
As he learned and improved, Corey played a wide range of music, from rocks to blues. While in his twenties, however, he joined a grunge band called Load. At the high point of the grunge era, Corey says he loved playing that kind of music.
Load played the college scene for about seven years before the band dispersed on the winds of change. They’ all gotten older. Some were married and starting families. It was a new era, and a new millennium.
But Corey still wanted to play. At that point in his life, however, he was a guitar player without a band. To continue on his own, he began to sing, and his solo career was born. When you check out one of Corey’s shows, you will be treated to an acoustic-driven, eclectic mix of music genres, from Jonny Cash to The Beatles. “It won’t keep you up at night,” says Corey “but it won’t put you to sleep, either.”
To check out some of Corey’s performances, visit his YouTube channel: Corey Hunley. You can also find him online at coreyhunley.com, as well as Instagram and Facebook. For more music, you can find singles and live performances by Corey on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, and other digital resources. Corey’s solo career, however, is just the Part One of the story.
In 2015, Corey decided to create a show that would not only celebrate amazing local talent, but that would also promote original local music. “Songwriters in the Round” is a show where aficionados can see and hear local musicians performing their original music. The show also features these musicians telling stories about why they write, and about the tunes, themselves.
“Songwriters in the Round” spotlights those artists who love writing songs and playing them to audiences that want to listen. Corey says it’s an event that allows everyone to get to know each other through song. “I’m a small guy in a small town, but I still want folks to hear what I have to say. That’s the dream.”
The first “Songwriters in the Round” was held in the White Room upstairs at Blue 5 Restaurant and Lounge in Downtown Roanoke. Featuring Corey, along with Adam Rutledge and Kyle Forry, the two-hour event was sold out prior to show night.
Corey says he loves being on stage with talented musicians. It blows him away. He also says it’s difficult for local musicians anywhere to find a place for their original music. Most places want covers. The goal is to someday have folks request the original songs as well as the covers.
And it looks like Corey is on the right track. In 2016, the second “Songwriters in the Round” was held again at Blue 5, but this time featuring Corey along with Hoppy Vaughn and Erin Lunsford.
In 2017, the show changed venues, with the third installment taking place at The Spot on Kirk. This time, Corey appeared with Adam Rutledge, JD Sutphin, and Jake Crawford. For a third year running, it was a sold-out show.
The songwriters skipped 2018, but the fourth installment of this celebrated event will take place on Saturday, November 9, 2019, at the Grandin Theater! This year, Corey will be sharing the stage with Josh Shilling, Crawford & Power, and special guest, Emme Cannon! You can purchase tickets online at coreyhunley.com, or at the door while supplies last.
With every “Songwriters in the Round”, Corey wants to raise awareness for the talent to be found in Roanoke, and he hopes to encourage folks in an appreciation for the original music being produced there. He’d love for the show to grow even bigger, with multiple events per year. He’d like to create the opportunity for more original songwriters in the area to perform for appreciative audiences, and he wants people to walk out saying, “that was amazing!”
For more information about “Songwriters in the Round”, Corey Hunley, his music, and his show dates, visit online at www.coreyhunley.com, or follow on Facebook and Instagram!