Many years before receiving praise from NPR, ranking on the Billboard charts, or winning prestigious awards, something magical happened; a teenaged Moksha Sommer was reading the lush words of the Persian poet Rumi in her Montreal apartment and wildly decided to join friends for a spur of the moment trip to North Carolina for a Rumi Festival put on by Turkish Sufis. It was there that, from across a room of dancers, Jemal Wade Hines was playing frame drum and heard Sommer’s voice cutting through the crowd and jolting his heart awake. That moment was the beginning of HuDost.
Since then, Sommer and Hines have married as a couple, as musicians, as activists, and as parents; in all of those they are guided by love. They are highly engaged activists, doing advocacy work as Representatives for ONE (a non-profit organization working to end extreme poverty) and joining forces with other non-profit organizations. They have discovered the alchemy and power of the combination of music and activism and how change can be effectively created through those tools.
HuDost has a new album receiving rave reviews that reached #4 in the Canadian National Folk/Roots/Blues Chart for March, 2022 and #9 in the US Folk Radio Charts for January, 2022. HuDost’s last album ‘of Water + Mercy’ received rave reviews and as an independent release reached #24 in the BILLBOARD SALES CHARTS for Folk/Americana also winning the 2020 Independent Music Award for Social Action Song. In 2020 they received two of the ‘Best of Nashville’ awards. On past albums HuDost has worked with GRAMMY Award-winning producer Malcolm Burn (Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris, Peter Gabriel) and GRAMMY Award-winning mixers Oz Fritz (Tom Waits, Bill Laswell, Primus) and Vance Powell (Jack White, Chris Stapleton, Pearl Jam, Willie Nelson, Buddy Guy, Beyonce, Beck, Alicia Keys, Melissa Etheridge, Kings of Leon).
HuDost’s new album, ‘Anthems of Home’ defines real, honest love and is a lush, breathtaking original collection of compositions that ask important questions. In this time of loss and awakening HuDost’s new album gives powerful voice to this journey in a way that will remain timeless and will prove the resilience that we all share. Special guests on the album include Jars of Clay, The Accidentals, Christie Lenée and others. Their early release from the new album, ‘Our Words Will Be Louder’, included additional music video cameos from Kevin Clash (Elmo), Kevin Hearn (from the Barenaked Ladies), Cy Curnin (from The FIXX), GangstaGrass, Alana Bridgewater, Nawal, Hymn for Her, Jai Uttal, and more. HuDost worked with minister/activist William J. Barber II and all proceeds from it went to the Poor People’s Campaign. It received press coverage in over 130 major news publications and radio including CTV News, The Observer, Roots Music Canada, All Access Music, and received the ‘Best Music Video of the Week’ from Blues and Roots Radio.
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), live looping and beats, 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.
HuDost’s music is a powerful voice for 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. Both critics and fans have said time and time again that the music of HuDost is this very expression.
“Teeming with rich, iridescent vocals layered over powerful electric guitar licks, driving percussion and the haunting church organ-esque tones of the harmonium accented by the shimmering strings of Shahi Baaja (Electric Indian Auto-Harp), Bazouki and Dulcinet, HuDost’s one-of-a-kind sound is built on the impeccable musicianship of life-partners Jemal Wade Hines and Moksha Sommer. HuDost performs as either a duo or along with a band of fellow eclectic musicians—often engaging concertgoers through multiple mediums by weaving performance art and dance into their shows for an unforgettable experience that will leave audiences spellbound.”
— Levitt Foundation
“HuDost makes music for the sacred and the profane…driven by Sommer’s lush expressive alto and Hines’ skilled strumming and electric guitar licks…as sacred as a church service, without the identifiers which can separate and shame non-believers.”
-Kristi Wooten (PurePop, Rolling Stone, Newsweek)
“HuDost is quite folk/postmodern.… This is not fluffy new-age music—it’s serious, complex fare. Sommer’s vocal execution is precisely orchestrated, her voice-opening, hollow-toned vortexes piercing through the tough spots.”
– Chronogram Magazine
“We fell in love with award-winning duo HuDost when they released their activist anthem “Our Words Will be Louder”. Now, they are calling for the conservation of the planet with the release of their pressing new single and mesmerizing new music video, “Beat the Drum Harder.”— Eric Alper, rootsmusic.ca
“The album (Anthems of Home) is the perfect antidote to this never-ending heartbreaking divisive nation we live in and it’s what we’re listening to on repeat. The songs envelop you, pouring, radiating strength, love, and light into our souls. And ultimately, once balanced and re-energized, provides a rallying call to continue to use our words, and our voices, to beat the drum harder.” – Feed Our Democracy
“…everything warm and loving; featuring bright acoustic guitar progression and cozy, embracing bass progressions. HuDost creates a unique expression of emotion and solace for the listener, as if sitting by a crackling fireplace, mug in hand.” – Roots Music Canada
“HuDost is well-known for weaving their traditional folk-world sound through lyrics drawn from real-life experiences and their genuine concern for the world. The release unveils a comforting and warm welcome mat into their musical dwelling that is Anthems of Home.” – Roots Music Canada
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Black Oak Artists