FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

James Hunter’s "People Gonna Talk"

The two things I love most in amplified music are great voices and great ensemble playing and James Hunter’s People Gonna Talk (Rounder Records) offers both. It’s gratifying to see that the Essex-born soul stylist is now doing well in the USA.

Back around 1996 I took football journalist Joe Bernstein to see this singer at the 100 Club in Oxford Street, just after his Believe What I Say album came out on Ace Records. His voice really swings and his sweet, funky little band cruised through two sets of Fifties R&B : Ray Charles, Sam Cooke, Bobby “Blue” Bland, a bunch of original songs in a roadhouse vein. He might be the blackest-sounding white singer these islands have produced since Stevie Winwood.

Joe loved the audience, which included teddy boys jiving beautifully with girls whose skirts flared out as they swivelled.

Before that James Hunter had made an album as Howlin’ Wilf and had played guitar and sung with Van Morrison, who duetted with him on two tracks, Turn On Your Love Light and Ain’t Nothing You Can Do.

Early in 2006 I read a comment he had made about going home late one night on a Network South East train where commuters were very tired or asleep, and somebody was playing a cassette of a Sam Cooke album, and nobody in the compartment objected. I knew what he was talking about because I’ve often been on that late train, coming home from gigs at the Town &Country Club/Forum.

Sam Cooke’s music is magically light and mellow, and James Hunter said that one day he wanted to make an album like that.

And now he has. Amazingly, producer Liam Watson recorded all these songs live, with Hunter singing along with the band, using old analogue equipment at Toe Rag studios, where the White Stripes made Elephant.

The warmth of the sound, the artistry of the vocals, the precision of horns that really play in the groove, are all fantastic. The title track even includes a string quartet.

Sure, James Hunter is a niche – and it’s a small niche. But his current success proves that if you persevere, the market can come to you.

I won’t describe each song, as you can hear clips streamed on www.jameshuntermusic.com.

MYLES PALMER lives in England, where he writes about music and soccer. He can be reached at: myles@db10.freeserve.co.uk

 

 

More articles by:
Weekend Edition
July 03, 2020
Friday - Sunday
Peter Linebaugh
Police and the Wealth of Nations: Déjà Vu or Unfinished Business?
Rob Urie
Class, Race and Power
John Davis
A Requiem for George Floyd
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: Mutiny of the Bounties!
Richard D. Wolff
Revolutionary Possibilities: Could U.S. Capitalism Turn Nationalist?
Richard Falk
When Rogue States Sanction the International Criminal Court
Louis Proyect
Smearing Black Lives Matter…From the Left
Ralph Nader
Trump and Pence – Step Aside for Professional Pandemic Scientists and Managers
Ramzy Baroud
Tearing Down the Idols of Colonialism: Why Tunisia, Africa Must Demand French Apology
Philippe Marlière
Challenging the French Republic’s Color-Blindness
Richard C. Gross
Attack, Deny
Lee Camp
Connecting the Dates – US Media Used To Stop The ‘Threat’ of Peace
Steve Martinot
The Desire to Kill
David Yearsley
The War on Kitsch
Amy Eva Alberts Warren – Rev. William Alberts
Why are Certain Christians Democratic and Others Authoritarian?
Lawrence Davidson
Covid Madness
Brian Cloughley
Britain’s Disorder and Decline
Ellen Taylor
The US Military Has Its Knee on the Throat of the World
David Rosen
White Nationalists on the Attack
Joseph Natoli
Drawn Away from Reality in Plain View
Frank Joyce
Give Me Liberty,  Give You Death
Jonah Raskin
My Adventures in the Matriarchy
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
The Corruption of the Democratic Party: Talking to Ted Rall about his new book
Medea Benjamin - Nicolas J. S. Davies
Trump’s Record on Foreign Policy: Lost Wars, New Conflicts and Broken Promises
Paul Edwards
A Bridge Too Far
Arshad Khan
India and China Tussle on the Roof of the World
Jennifer Joan Thompson
How to Do Things With Theses: Chile’s National Police Force Sues the Feminist Artistic Collective, Las Tesis
Shawn Fremstad
Vacations for All!
Thomas Knapp
A Modest Proposal for Compromise on “Confederate” Military Bases
Vijay Prashad, Eduardo Viloria Daboín, Ana Maldonado, and Zoe PC
Venezuela’s Borderlands Have Been Assaulted by COVID-19
Thom Hartmann
COVID Masks: The Latest Faux Conservative Outrage
Jesse Jackson
Mandatory College Football Practices in Time of Pandemic are Nuts
Nicholas Vincenzo Barney
Consensus Politics on the Fringe: The Intellectual Dishonesty of the Intellectual Dark Web
Ted Rall
The Data is Clear: Progressives Should Boycott Biden
Joshua Tartakovsky
Sergei Khrushchev: An Eulogy from His Close Student
Theresa Church
In Reconsidering ‘Normalcy’ Genetically Engineered Trees Do Not Belong
Chelsea Carrick
Let’s Not Lose Momentum
Adam Rissien
Sorry Secretary Perdue, Our National Forests are Not Crops
Paul Gilk
A Few Theoretical Percentages
Thomas S. Harrington
“New Corona Cases”:  A Phrase That’s Tells us Very Little, if Anything,  About the Actual Levels of Danger We  Face
Claire Chadwick
I Got COVID-19 at Work. I Won’t be the Last
George Wuerthner
The Upper Green River Should be a National Park, Not a Feedlot
Julian Vigo
Profiteering in the Era of COVID-19
Ravi Mangla
Policing is Not a Public Good
July 02, 2020
Stan Cox
It’s Not Just Meat: All Farm and Food Workers Are in Peril
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail