Not anymore one of the best R&B-singers in Britain, but one of the best in the whole world. No-nonsense attitude, great songs, suberbly tight band and a ridiculously soulful voice. In the line of Ray Charles, Sam Cooke and Jackie Wilson with a touch of Jamaica’s Channel One groove.
Grandmother’s and older brother Perry’s record collections of 50’s R&R and R&B turned James Hunter on early. Born 1962 in Essex, UK, Hunter got some attention in the blues circles in the 80’s with his band Howlin’ Wilf & The Vee-Jays. Then his first solo album, Believe What I Say (1996), got support from guest star Van Morrison, who also hired him to sing back-up in his band. By then, James’ style had got leaner and more soul-influenced.
The real breakthru was People Gonna Talk (2005), his first US-released album that won a lot of airplay on some influential radio stations and praise from the likes of Allen Toussaint, who guests on Hunter’s latest album, The Hard Way. An absolute killer of a record!