Kentucky's HuDost Release “Our Words Will Be Louder” For Injustice & the State of the Nation
HuDost, led by Kentucky-based musicians and activists Moksha Sommer and Jemal Wade Hines, have released a powerful video for their forthcoming single, “Our Words Will Be Louder”.
The new song is a vital message for positive, collective action to be taken in this vulnerable and polarized time. “Our Words Will Be Louder” was co-written with Dan Haseltine (GRAMMY Award-winning band Jars of Clay) and Guitar World magazine’s “Acoustic Guitarist of the Year,” Christie Lenée.
Specifically, the song addresses how inadequate people can feel until they give their voices to a larger purpose, and the video has several cameo performances from artists and activists — including Jars of Clay, Kevin Hearn (The Barenaked Ladies), Kevin Clash (creator of Elmo), Cy Curnin (The FIXX), Gangstagrass, Jai Uttal, Hymn for Her, The Accidentals, JP Durand, Liza Carbe (Incendio), and others.
Proceeds from “Our Words Will Be Louder” will be directed to The Poor People’s Campaign, a non-profit organization committed to lifting up and deepening the leadership of those most affected by systemic racism, poverty, the war economy, and ecological devastation as well as to building unity across lines of division.
At the end of HuDost’s music video is riveting footage of peaceful protests and the voice of The Poor People’s Campaign’s main leader, Reverend William J. Barber II, saying these words:
“We will stand up again, we will march again, we will preach again, we will organize again. We are black, we are white, we are latino, we are native American, we are democrat, we are republican, we are independent, we are people of faith, we are people not of faith, we are natives and immigrants, we are business leaders and workers and unemployed, we are doctors and the uninsured, we are gay, we are straight, we are students, we are parents, we are retirees, we are America, and we are here and we ain’t going nowhere!”
The power of his voice and this unyielding proclamation, summarizes the message of the song and music video. Sommer and Hines both have learned a great deal by acting as congressional district representatives for ONE, a non-profit advocacy organization working to end extreme poverty globally, in Kentucky for almost six years. Through advocacy work, they have come to know how to be a voice for people who are not being heard and have been amazed by what can happen with the power of collective voice. In this desperate time, they feel profoundly pushed and inspired to work locally and nationally. Their music is a direct expression of this drive and they hope that it will be part of what motivates others to take action in this time.
In addition to benefiting The Poor People’s Campaign, HuDost also hopes that this song will encourage early voting. There has never been a greater need for all voices to be heard.
HuDost were recently honored with an Independent Music Award for their song “Rise Together” in the “Social Action” category (also co-written with Dan Haseltine from Jars of Clay).
The music of HuDost weaves a seamless tapestry of Folk, World, and Rock that renders tears and laughter in listeners, cultivating the nameless longing that abides somewhere in all our hearts and invoking total celebration. HuDost’s core musicians are Moksha Sommer, from Montréal, and Jemal Wade Hines from Kentucky. Having toured the U.S., Canada, and Europe constantly since April 2006, HuDost has grown and expanded, travelled rocky and glorious terrain and marveled at all they can learn and explore. Moksha and Jemal Wade in this time have grown as artists, as seekers, as a couple and as a family. Since 2015 they have also been highly engaged activists, doing advocacy work as KY Congressional District Representatives for ONE (a non-profit organization working to end extreme poverty and, specifically, the sexism of poverty).
HuDost’s most recent album, 'of Water + Mercy', received rave reviews and, as an independent release, reached #24 in the BILLBOARD SALES CHARTS for Folk/Americana. It just won The Independent Music Award for Social Action Song. The album was made with Vance Powell who is a top-tier producer/mixer who’s worked with artists such as Jack White (White Stripes), Chris Stapleton, Pearl Jam, Willie Nelson, Buddy Guy, Beyonce, Beck, Alicia Keys, Melissa Etheridge, Kings of Leon and a slew of others. Dan Haseltine from the GRAMMY Award-winning band Jars of Clay has been on board to help with production and all of the Jars of Clay members play on the album. On past albums HuDost has worked with GRAMMY Award-winning producer Malcolm Burn (Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris, Peter Gabriel) and GRAMMY Award-winning mixer Oz Fritz (Tom Waits, Bill Laswell, Primus).
“We met Dan Haseltine of Jars of Clay not through music but through our shared work in political advocacy acting on behalf of people living in extreme poverty,” says Moksha Sommer. “Through music and advocacy we have witnessed incredible and real change and know the astonishing power of collective voices on behalf of those who do not have the ability, and sometimes even the rights, to be heard. Songwriting with Dan was a wonderful process of the three of us contributing all that we could and being attached to nothing. I think the result is quite remarkable and reflects the very thing the song is about; rising together through shared vision and action.” “Rise Together,” a powerful call to unity, marked the lead single from Of Water + Mercy (recorded at Nashville’s Gray Matters Studio) and instantly found support from Spotify being added to official playlists.
HuDost functions as a duo or as a band, including guest musicians of varying sensibilities and backgrounds, and often including dance in their shows. As a duo their instrumentation includes vocals, harmonium (Indian Pump-Organ), NORD Keys, guitars, Dulcinet, percussion, and a slew of sonic ambient effects. Their music is a rich, eclectic blending of pop and rock with traditional Sufi music, Bulgarian, Croatian, Macedonian and Balkan folk music, Farsi, Turkish, Arabic, and folk. Their sound crosses all borders and barriers, taking the listener on a journey they will never forget.
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 collaborations and opening slots for other artists include Ani DiFranco, Philip Glass, Jon Anderson (YES), Joan Osborne, Snatam Kaur, Steve Kilbey (The Church), Ramy Essam, California Guitar Trio, Bell Orchestre, Neko Case, Jim Lauderdale, Omar Faruk Tekbilek, Mercan Dede, and many more.
HuDost's music is a powerful expression of life's journey and discovery. In 2008, Moksha went through a painful process of brain surgery due to a tumor. The healing from this included re-learning language skills, losing and regaining proper sight, and experiencing seizures. This could have been staggering but instead served as learning that has fueled a potent desire to bring healing through sound. In 2013 their amazing son, Kaleb, was brought into the world. It is through music that the losses and gains, pains and triumphs, and excruciating beauty of life can be given a voice of empathy to the synonymous lives of all people. Both critics and fans have said time and time again that the music of HuDost is this very expression.
HuDost’s message comes from real experience, real emotion, and real concern for the world - from the birth of a child, to the healing of the body, to the healing of the planet, their words and music echo the human experience.