Area musician Robert Hunter to open for Charlie Daniels Band at CAC

Over the last several months, Danville native Robert Hunter and his wife Becky have been driving around the country in a 29-foot RV. The duo, which already has 37,000 miles under their belt, set out with the goal of playing 300 shows in all 50 states over a five-month span for Robert’s “Relapse and Revival” tour that uniquely aims to promote his newest novel “Relapse” and his recent album “Revival.” The two were inspired to take off on their epic journey after Becky was diagnosed with breast cancer at the young age of 28.

The tour, which began in Pennsylvania and has already taken the pair as far away as Alaska, will be bringing the two back to the area for a set on Friday, when Robert will get the chance to open for the Charlie Daniels Band at the Community Arts Center, 220 West Fourth St. The Hunters are currently making a cross-country trip all the way from Oregon for the show.

“We are on hiatus for the first time since the tour started,” Robert said. “We are driving all the way from Portland to Williamsport for two reasons: For one, Charlie Daniels is an iconic figure in music and I am so proud to be able to share a stage with him. Secondly, Becky has to be back in Pennsylvania to Geisinger every three months for checkups on the cancer.”

Though Becky is now cancer free, Robert said that her diagnoses showed them that life is extremely fleeting and that they need to live each day to the fullest. In that spirit, the two set out on the dual-tour, despite Robert’s management giving them some pushback, feeling that it would be hard to promote a book and album simultaneously.

“Becky has been the driving force behind this,” Robert said. “She said, ‘They are nuts, this is going to work.’ So, what we are doing is taking a guitar and beers into book stores, and playing acoustic sets and signing books, which is something they have never seen before. And we are taking books into bars, which is something they have never seen before.

“Frankly, it has been incredible and has worked so well in terms of being able to pull it off,” he added.

Up to this point, the two have already checked 27 states off their list and are playing three shows a day. It has been a ton of work, but the two are fully enjoying themselves.

“It has been awesome, we have been having a blast,” Robert said. “It has just been a mad, crazy adventure. I am a writer and I literally could not make up a crazier ride than this.”

As an alt-country musician, Robert said that he is thrilled to be opening a show for Charlie Daniels, who has made a career out of blurring the lines between country and rock music. But when he was first asked to play the gig, the moment was so surreal that he thought someone was playing a prank on him.

“Honestly, I thought it was a joke,” he said. “I honestly thought I was going to get an email that said my credit card had been hacked or something.

“I immediately said yes — it doesn’t take long to figure that out,” he added. “I didn’t even know my schedule at the time. Had I known it, I would have seen that we would be on the other side of the country at the time. But it doesn’t matter, he is Charlie Daniels and he is an icon. He is obviously very prolific and it is an honor to have even been asked.”

Robert said that he already knows dozens of people who have bought tickets to watch him play at the CAC, and has been told there will be a group of people wearing pink shirts in support of Becky.

“It is worth driving 2,500 miles across the country for a great night,” he said.

For more information on the tour, the book and the album visit relapseandrevival.com.