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The Hard Way

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iTunes Review

Blessed with a buttery smooth voice that’s a perfect blend of purr and growl — both Sam Cooke and Jackie Wilson are accurate comparisons — James Hunter is a British R&B veteran who's been a long time gaining the wider recognition he deserves. His sound is pure classic soul and songs like the title track and “Don’t Do Me No Favours” seem like they could have been singles released by Hi or Stax records during their mid-1960s heydays. But this retro feel should in no way suggest that Hunter is some kind of oldies act because these are solid, well-constructed songs by any measure, featuring sophisticated string touches as well as thrillingly rough edges. Backed by a skin-tight band that includes a sharp double-sax horn section, he’s also joined on a few tunes by the legendary pianist Allen Touissant, a man who has greatly influenced Hunter’s own sound. Hunter is also a tough guitarist and he fires off some scorching solos throughout. The Hard Way is a joy from start to finish and anyone who loves classic 60s-era soul should eat this one up.

Customer Reviews

Better than the Espresso shot!

Walked into Starbucks this morning half asleep and saw the free download card for some guy I had never heard of. Grabbed it assuming I would end up deleting it anyway, got to work and downloaded the freebie...then immediately went and downloaded the rest of James Hunter's iTunes catalog. Talk about a breath of fresh air! I'm so stoked on his stuff now, already researching how and where to see him live. This is the kind of cavalier attitude music needs in this cookie cutter world.


Great album--guys got to much soul to be white-tricked me--tight band

Can't wait to listen!

I just purchased the album without even previewing...James Hunter is THAT good! See him in person if you get the chance!


Born: Colchester, England

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

James Hunter is one of the best (and one of the few) British blue-eyed soul singers to emerge in the late 20th century. Hunter began his roots music career in the 1980s under the name Howlin' Wilf. His solo recordings feature rhythm & blues in the style of the 1950s, pitched between R&B, early rock & roll, and early soul. His 1994 solo debut, ...Believe What I Say, had guest appearances by Doris Troy and Van Morrison, and Hunter appeared on a couple of Morrison's mid-'90s albums, as well as performing...
Full Bio
The Hard Way, James Hunter
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  • $9.99
  • Genres: Rock, Music, R&B/Soul, Soul, Blues
  • Released: Jan 01, 2008

Customer Ratings