BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008: James Hunter: The Hard Way (Universal)

 |   |  1 min read

James Hunter: Til the End
BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2008: James Hunter: The Hard Way (Universal)

This Englishman with an unexpectedly soulful voice was one of the first artists posted at Elsewhere back in mid 2006 and that astonishing album People Gonna Talk was easily among the best of that year.

But in this country with very little publicity (I saw none) it rose without a trace.

Still, those who heard it got a wonderful slice of Sam Cooke/soul-reggae -- and it went on to be in the "best of" lists in Mojo, USA Today and many other media (Elsewhere included, obviously), and was nominated for best traditional blues album at the Grammys.

So this follow-up actually deserves that overworked label "much anticipated".

Van Morrison once said Hunter was "one of the best voices and best kept secrets". Oddly enough despite the excellent People Gonna Talk, he still seemed to be. This time out however everything is stacked in his favour, not the least that he has New Orleans legend Allen Toussaint on hand.

The grand old master of Nawlins saw a Hunter show and recognised that here was someone special so lined up to get in the studio with this man who seems to be able to write instant and memorable classics, and deliver them with a band that is skin tight. It's not too late to discover that previous album as well as this -- it has and will stand the test of time -- and if you have it you will need no second recommendation for this one.

James Hunter is someone special. Discover him this go-round (and there's an interview with this very funny and good natured fellow here).

Share It

Your Comments

Ian - Dec 19, 2008

This album should be the mainstream crossover hit of the summer (go away Duffy). Stacked full if soulful grooves, perfect for summer bbqs. Grab a Carona and sway to "Carina".

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Josh Rouse: Country Mouse, City House (Bedroom Classics)

Josh Rouse: Country Mouse, City House (Bedroom Classics)

Rouse has an interesting record collection: we know this because for a few albums -- notably 1972 which nodded to Seventies singer-songwriters, and Nashville which raided 80s pop, rock and indie... > Read more

SHORT CUTS: A round-up of recent New Zealand releases

SHORT CUTS: A round-up of recent New Zealand releases

Facing down an avalanche of releases, requests for coverage, the occasional demand that we be interested in their new album (sometimes with that absurd comment "but don't write about it if you... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

DAMIAN MARLEY INTERVIEWED (2006): Maintaining the family standard

DAMIAN MARLEY INTERVIEWED (2006): Maintaining the family standard

The most common complaint from those who have stardom thrust upon them -- the tabloid coverage and paparazzi, the private chef serving you rather than some kid on minimum wage -- is that nothing... > Read more

Mundi: In the Blink of an Eye (Monkey)

Mundi: In the Blink of an Eye (Monkey)

Every now and again New Zealand throws up a group which has a jazz/improv aspect but looks to diverse world music for influences. Elsewhere has posted albums by Superbrew from the Eighties and,... > Read more