The toe tapping tunes from Huck & Lilly seem to be everywhere this summer. If you haven’t heard “I Sat on a Porcupine” your life really isn’t complete. It’s a song that might seem silly at first (who sits on a porcupine?), and then you find yourself dancing with abandon like Snoopy in a Charlie Brown cartoon.
Winning over parents with their music is a goal of the Ken Johnson and Andi Zack-Johnson – the talented songwriters and musicians who created Huck & Lilly.
The band performs weekly in Seaside and has ongoing shows at The Hub 30A.
Prior to moving to South Walton they worked and wrote in Nashville for 10 years. Ken and Andi’s first hit together was in 2010, “Beer on the Table,” with Josh Thompson. He also wrote (and got roped into singing it with him on his TV show) “Every Time I Fall in Love,” for Harry Connick, Jr. The two are cast members on the Ryan Seacrest produced show, “I Love Killie Pickler” on CMT and have bios that are long and incredibly impressive (feel free to read their full bios on huckandlilly.com). They are true artists who prove that if you love what you do and you fully commit yourself to it – the sky is the limit. And to prove this point – breaking news! Huck & Lilly now has songs in rotation at Kids Place Live on Sirius XM radio!
Now back to the important questions in life, like how “The Fiddler Crab” came to be:
“We were down in Seaside writing country music,” Andi said. “We were hanging out on the beach when I saw a fiddler crab and I thought it was an albino tarantula! (I’m from Canada). Ken said it was a fiddler crab so I asked him why it was called a fiddler crab and he said, ‘I don’t know. He don’t play a fiddle.’ And then the song practically wrote itself.”
“Kids are smart and they deserve crafty lyrics,” Ken said. “We wanted the production to be high so we teamed up with Skidd Mills, who is a multi-Grammy and Dove award winner. He’s a world class musician on every instrument. He, Andi and I play all of the instruments on ‘There’s a Tree Growing in my Room’. He’s been an exceptional partner on it.”
But the album was met with a bit of surprise.
“The first thing I do is turn in what I write to my publisher,” Ken explained. “When I sent him ‘Fiddler Crab’ he said, ‘What are you doing at the beach and what do I do with this?’”
“We wrote it for ourselves and our nieces and nephews,” Andi said. “Then we had other ideas and the songs kept coming.”
Ken said one of his favorite stories about “I Sat on a Porcupine” involves a friend of his in Birmingham, Ala.
“He’s this big burly guy and he’s driving around Birmingham with his windows down, just belting out ‘I Sat on a Porcupine’ and beating on his steering wheel. He got a few looks at the stop light.
“But that’s what we want. We describe our music as music for kids and the grownups that love them.”
Huck & Lilly will be debuting new songs this summer and are launching in-house concerts and performances. That’s right! Your child’s next birthday party could feature a private concert with Huck & Lilly. How fun is that?
The duo have also launched Hit Songwriter House Concerts. These are shows that are either performed at The Backyard of Love in Grayton Beach, or in private homes here or around the Southeast. Ken and Andi have teamed up with Grayton Beach Catering to provide dinner while major songwriters (like “Big Al” Anderson, Sarah Buxton and Kyle Johnson) provide the music. Limited tickets are available to the July 12, 26 and Aug. 9 and 23 shows and may be purchased at hitsongwriterhouseconcerts.com. Private home concerts can also be reserved there.
If you’re going to a Huck & Lilly show in Seaside or at The Hub 30A, don’t forget that CDs, T-shirts, dreamcatchers and sock puppets are all sold at the concerts, so be sure to have some cash with you. Seashells and photos are great, but a head filled with these songs is priceless.