12 Songs

EDITORS’ NOTES

There's perhaps an extra dash of grit to Hunter's sharp, soulful singing here, but otherwise he follows a similar stylistic path to his previous few releases. That's fortunate, since he's a master of the '60s-influenced, horn-punctuated R&B his stinging sextet serves up. Echoes of everyone from Lee Dorsey to Wilson Pickett pop up as the British soul man and his band expertly navigate Stax-style stomps (the title track), New Orleans–inflected strolls ("Drop on Me"), and more. Even if his endlessly expressive voice were the only weapon in his aural arsenal, Hunter would still be one of the premier soul stylists of his era. Yet he's always had another, not-so-secret weapon at his disposal: his terse, twangy lead guitar lines. Hunter's bluesy guitar licks don't dominate the album, but every time they turn up, they edge the energy level of the proceedings up another notch. Whether he's laying down tremolo-laden figures atop a subtly ska-tinged groove ("Let the Monkey Ride") or tearing out a barbed-wire blues lead ("Look Out"), Hunter shows that his axe is as mighty as his pipes, and that's saying something.

EDITORS’ NOTES

There's perhaps an extra dash of grit to Hunter's sharp, soulful singing here, but otherwise he follows a similar stylistic path to his previous few releases. That's fortunate, since he's a master of the '60s-influenced, horn-punctuated R&B his stinging sextet serves up. Echoes of everyone from Lee Dorsey to Wilson Pickett pop up as the British soul man and his band expertly navigate Stax-style stomps (the title track), New Orleans–inflected strolls ("Drop on Me"), and more. Even if his endlessly expressive voice were the only weapon in his aural arsenal, Hunter would still be one of the premier soul stylists of his era. Yet he's always had another, not-so-secret weapon at his disposal: his terse, twangy lead guitar lines. Hunter's bluesy guitar licks don't dominate the album, but every time they turn up, they edge the energy level of the proceedings up another notch. Whether he's laying down tremolo-laden figures atop a subtly ska-tinged groove ("Let the Monkey Ride") or tearing out a barbed-wire blues lead ("Look Out"), Hunter shows that his axe is as mighty as his pipes, and that's saying something.

TITLE TIME
2:48
3:39
2:52
4:23
3:06
2:41
3:35
3:25
3:13
2:27
3:36

About The James Hunter Six

The James Hunter Six are a soul-blues band from Essex, England, who've been touring and recording together for more than a decade. Their immediate, gritty sound provides the backing for their songwriter/guitar slinger namesake, whose weathered yet buttery smooth voice has made the group a critical favorite and a touring sensation. Given their intensity and virtuosity, no less than Allen Toussaint, Sharon Jones, and Van Morrison have been counted as fans and shared stages with them.

The rest of the lineup is made up of drummer Jonathan Lee, keyboardist/percussionist Andrew Kingslow, baritone saxophonist Lee Badau, tenor saxophonist Damian Hand, and bassist Jason Wilson. Though most of this unit has been together for nearly two decades and played stages all over the globe, they've been billed as the James Hunter Six on recordings since 2013's Gabriel Roth-produced Minute by Minute -- Hunter extended the name to reflect the band's concert billing. The band signed on to the producer's Daptone label in 2013 and recorded 2016's Hold On! direct to eight-track tape at Penrose Recorders in Riverside, California. ~ Thom Jurek

  • ORIGIN
    England
  • GENRE
    Pop
  • FORMED
    1993

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