|Tammerlin is Lee Hunter (left) and Arvid Smith (right)
I first met Lee Hunter when we both worked for the Student Activities Department while
attending Florida Community College of Jacksonville, FL. I didn’t know at first she was a
musician and singer, but her other features caught my attention quickly: Disarmingly cute,
intelligent, and passionate about protecting the environment. I don’t think she and Arvid
had met yet. One day on my way to class I saw this guy walking toward me who looked like a
mixture of teen rocket scientist and Dagwood, with arcs of jet black hair framing the
forehead of his inquisitive, handsome face.“I’m looking for the Student Activities Office," he
told me. “I’ve got these promotional flyers for a concert we’re giving. I have to get a
permission stamp to post these around the campus."
“I work for Student Activities," I said. “What kind of music?"
“New, old, electric, acoustic," said Arvid. “Some experimental, some traditional."
“Cool," I said. “I’ll help you put them up."
I don’t remember if we ever got the approval stamp from Student Activities, but we got the
posters up and the word out.
At the concert, Arvid played everything from acoustic 12 string finger picking folk music to
ethereal electronic wizardry on an electric double necked guitar with a paint job like something
from the "World of Tomorrow."
I should point out that I usually prefer listening to electric guitar, but when Arvid plays acoustic,
his licks are just as embracing and exhilarating as most electric guitar players’ riffs. His chops and
Lee Hunter's vocals and rhythm are a very satisfying combination.
Britain's New Musical Express calls Arvid Smith "a wizard on the silver strings." Florida music
magazine describes Lee Hunter’s voice as "haunting, passionate, and powerful".
Together, as Tammerlin, they keep a busy schedule playing in the United States and abroad at
festivals, colleges, concert halls - almost any venue imaginable. I once even saw them open for
the legendary band known as The Band (minus Robbie Robertson), here in Jacksonville, FL.
Tammerlin also offers
educational programming for
school groups, funded in part by
the Florida State Touring
They were chosen by the state
of Florida to represent Florida
artists when the Southern Arts
Federation launched its
Southern Artistry website.
In January 2008, Tammerlin
released their fifth recording,
"No Small Thing".
Bill: Aren’t there some really grisly stories in some of those old, traditional folk songs?
Arvid: Oh, yeah. A perfect example is a song on our new CD. The song is a murder ballad, called
“Naomi Wyse." It’s a song from Clarence Ashley that…
Lee: No, it’s not.
Arvid: Not what?
Lee: It’s not a Clarence Ashley song. He didn’t write it.
Arvid: No, I know he didn’t write it. I got it from Clarence Ashley. He recorded it. Bill knows what
Bill: Who wrote it?
Lee: Nobody knows who wrote it. It’s a traditional mountain song. Arvid associates it with
Clarence Ashley but it’s in the public domain.
Bill: What’s it about?
Arvid: It’s about a . . . roguish man who seduces a young lady. Then, instead of marrying her, he
drowns her. And we found out that it’s actually based on a true story. But the guy wasn’t
convicted. He got off due to lack of evidence.
Bill: Bogus! Got any more stories?