The group was formed at Avery Hill College in South London when Terry Hiscock and Chris George were joined by fellow student Doug Morter. The band’s name was taken from an anecdote about an eccentric Cornishman.
Hunter Muskett began by playing in London folk-clubs and colleges mixing original songs with acoustic folk and blues. Unusually for the time they used a pa system to balance guitars and voices.
The band signed to Decca Nova after being spotted playing at The Troubadour in London’s Earls Court. On the resulting album, ‘Every Time You Move’ (1970), produced by Kim Margolis, the trio’s acoustic sound was augmented by Danny Thompson (uncredited) on double bass and orchestration arranged by Richard Hewson. Bass-player Rog Trevitt joined shortly after the album’s release. The Decca Nova label lasted less than a year.
From 1971 to 1974 the band toured the UK and on the continent, also making one trip to Morocco. Although mainly working the folk/college/ circuit, they also played festivals (Cambridge, St Albans, Laycock, Norwich) and major venues, notably as support to Ralph McTell (UK Spring Tour 1973) and Amon Düül (touring Belgium and Northern France in autumn 1973). Radio appearances included BBC’s Country Meets Folk, Pete Drummond’s Night Ride and Sounds on Sunday.
In 1973 managers Mike Hutson and George Fenton (then working as George Howe) signed the band to Derek Johns at Bradley’s Records where they became one of three acts (alongside Paul Brett and Kala) in a label launch involving considerable promotional expenditure. The album ‘Hunter Muskett’ (1973) produced by Keith Relf also featured Michael Giles on drums, Jim McCarty on percussion, Ken Freeman and John ‘Rabbit’ Bundrick (uncredited) on synthesiser.
Plans to add a permanent drummer were never realised although Andrew Steele played at the Royal Festival Hall (May 1973) and worked on demos for a projected second Bradley’s album, whilst Roger Swallow came in for Pete Drummond’s Night Ride (autumn 1973).
In 1974 a change of musical policy at Bradleys (now under ex-Mojo Stuart Slater) resulted in the label parting with all three of its original acts in a successful quest for hit singles. With no record label and finding the economics of keeping on the road increasingly difficult the band decided to split.
Of the four members only Doug Morter has continued to work as a professional musician combining a solo career with band and duo work. Now based in Denmark his credits include: Richard Digance, Magna Carta, The Albion Band, Maddy Prior Band, Then Came The Wheel, Jerry Donahue, The Backroom Boys and The Gathering Britannia. Chris George, who had built instruments for Hunter Muskett, is a highly regarded luthier.
Following the official re-release of ‘Everytime You Move’ in 2010 Hunter Muskett reformed for a reunion performance. The band now tours occasionally and in 2013 released a CD of new material, ‘That Was Then This Is Now’, produced by John Ellis and Bill Leader. (by wikipedia)
This debut from little-known, but highly regarded folk trio Hunter Muskett is an underground gem. Packed full of earthy, original songs, it masterly skirts the boundaries of baroque pop and folk-rock. The opening title track lays out their stall perfectly: layers of acoustic guitars, a delicate beat and some lush vocal harmonising.
The songs are purposely poetic but it never sounds forced, even on the darker tracks, such as Midsummer Night’s Dream, where the melancholy just about hangs together without sounding passe. It’s a delicious balance. (by Jan Zarebski)
Indeed … one of these forgotten hightlights of the British Folk-Scene at the beginning of the Seventies.
Melody Maker, January 2nd 1971
Chris George (guitar, vocals)
Terry Hiscock (guitar, vocals)
Doug Morter (guitar, vocals)
Kim Margolis (percussion on 02.)
John Punter (drums on 04.)
Danny Thompson (bass)
01. Every Time You Move (Hiscock) 4.25
02. Hey Little Girl (George) 5.01
03. Midsummer’s Night Dream (Hiscock) 4.07
04. Press Gang (George/Hiscock) 5.09
05. Storm On The Shore (Hiscock) 4.07
06. Castle (Hiscock) 3.39
07. I Have A House (Hiscock) 4.15
08. Inside Mine (Hiscock) 3.30
09. The Wait (George/Hiscock) 2.38
10. Cardboard Man (George) 2.19
11. Davy Lowston (Traditional) 5.10
12. Snow (Morter) 2.06
Hunter Muskett in 2011