...we've got the means to make amends. I am lost, I'm no guide, but I'm by your side. (Pearl Jam, Leash)

Saturday, June 10, 2006

People (like me) Gonna Talk: James Hunter

I've found your best new summer album. James Hunter's crisp retro sounds on People Gonna Talk (2006, Rounder Records) are equally at home drifting out of an old jukebox at the back of a diner or your iPod speakers at your next summer picnic.

Hunter has a voice that mightily channels Sam Cooke, songs with horns a la James Brown or Van Morrison, hints of rich surf guitar, and harmonies that would make the Temptations turn their heads. This feels like a record full of oldies that you somehow missed - you pull it out, put it on the turntable, and there is a sense of recognition, like you've heard them before. Hunter does absolutely nothing new, but the laid-back retro goodness suits me just fine.

"You Can't Win" - James Hunter

"Kick It Around" - James Hunter

I had a really hard time picking which songs to post, so also make sure to stream other great tunes on his MySpace page, such as the title track "People Gonna Talk" and the slow-dance-at-the-sock-hop tune "Mollena," with the simple innocence of the lyric that makes me smile: "Guess I could fall into a whole world of trouble over you." Listen to the smooth-as-butter way he sings it.

Buy it pronto, it's the best disc yet for the 2006 summertime blues; drivin' around with the windows down, or layin' in the hammock with a big glass of lemonade. I don't know how a white boy from Colchester, England does it, but this is good stuff that should be listened to over and over all summer long.


At June 10, 2006 5:29 PM, Blogger Bruce said...

Thanks Heather for posting about James. Finally, he's hit the blogger world. James has been living in Philly for the last five months and I have the honor of saying I've gotten to know him well. He's a straight up cat and so in to 60's and 70's R&B it would make your head spin. And he puts on a smokin' live show.

At June 10, 2006 6:59 PM, Anonymous Blues In Britain said...

We support him, he's the man! The CD is a feature of our Recommendations list.

At June 12, 2006 1:56 PM, Blogger Matt Gilmour said...

I almost bought this CD on a whim from my local record store (took the wimps way out and purchased a used copy of the Wilco live album instead). He was on the listening station display and apparently Van Morrison loves him.


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