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On Hunter Smith's Band, Zorn's Musical Tastes

Hunter Smith, new Skins punter.

I figured everyone had heard of new Redskins punter Hunter Smith's rock band Connersvine. The acoustic duo was signed more than two years ago, has a thriving MySpace page and Twitter feed, has been written up by the sports blogs and put out a self-titled album, you name it. Some teammates, though, were hopelessly out of touch.

"His rap album? Yeah it's great," said Casey Rabach, when I asked if he were familiar with Smith's musical work.

"Get that out of here, really?" said aspiring pianist Anthony Montgomery, to the same question. "I haven't even met him. Man, I've got to introduce myself."

Here's who is familiar with Connersvine: Jim Zorn. He even owns the album.

"He found out about the band, and he wanted to hear the music, so I gave it to him," Smith told me. "He told me he liked it."

"Oh yeah, ab-so-lut-ely," Zorn said. "Great album. I'd like a little more hard core, you know," he said, making a fist and growling, "but as far as the lyrics and the meaning....You know, it's hard to hear one of your own players singing. You know, you think that's a little bit odd or whatever, but he's got a great voice, and he's got a great band."

(Brief aside: Zorn's musical tastes? Well, like any former DJ, they're varied. "A lot of people would make fun of my musical tastes, because it's pretty diverse," he said. "I like classical music. I like electronica. I like remix and lounge music. I like pretty hard electric guitar music. Just name it."

Hard electric guitar music? "You know," he said, "Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin and all those bands, but a lot of newer stuff as well....I like ambient music as well, do you know what that is?"

Not really. Elevator music, I guessed. Wrong again.

"It's different than elevator music," Zorn said. "Elevator music, to me, would be easy listening. This stuff has a little more art to it in my mind; music that you would think was an artist's painting, if you will, ok? I know that sounds really weird.")

Anyhow, back to Smith. He met his musical partner, Chris Wilson (no, not the Skins linebacker of the same name) about a decade ago, and they started playing music and writing songs. The songs got recognized in the industry, they got a record deal, and one thing led to another. Some people call it Christian rock, but Smith sort of resists that label, saying "I don't necessarily believe that there's Christian music and mainstream music; I think that we are Christians who play music."

"It's not really an outlet for me, it's more just another half of who I am," he said. "Yeah, a lot of the content is spiritual and faith-based, but we're just a rock band that happens to be a bunch of Christians."

And so he lists groups like Coldplay and U2 as his favorites, without knowing much about their spiritual influences. He watches American Idol with his wife, who is also a singer. And he said "if any of [the Redskins] play" music, he'd love to collaborate.

Well, here's one suggestion. Free-agent wide receiver Trent Shelton helps run ShellyWorld Entertainment, a Texas-based music and entertainment company, and has helped manage both Christian rap groups and a rock hip-hop band called Game 7. More on that later, obviously. And hey, if OTAs are voluntary, so is the football coverage.

By Dan Steinberg  |  June 10, 2009; 4:52 PM ET
Categories:  Redskins  
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It is a really great album. I'm a Colts fan, so Hunter's time with the Colts is how I found Connersvine. I have well over 2000 songs on my iTunes and the Connersvine CD is one of my favorites. Perhaps we in the DC area will be lucky enough to have Hunter and Chris perform live during Hunter's Skins tenure.

Posted by: bamagrad | June 11, 2009 2:08 PM | Report abuse

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