James Hunter was born about an hour away from The Listening Post’s headquarters in Essex, UK but has travelled far ever since his music career began in 1986. The r&b singer-songwriter started out playing with a band called “Howlin’ Wilf and the Vee-Jays” recording several albums throughout the 90’s whilst playing across numerous clubs in London.
Just a few short years later his soulful style drew the attention of Van Morrison who appeared on Hunter’s first album ‘Believe What I Say’ released in 1996, but the collaboration didn’t stop there. The pair continued to work together (also touring together), with Hunter contributing the backing vocals on Van Morrison’s 1994 live album.
Soon, his soulful live and studio performances began attracting an international following, earning him the opportunity to support the likes of Aretha Franklin, Etta James and Willie Nelson, with Grammy nominations and #1 spots on the Billboard Blue chart to boot.
Hunter’s latest project sees the r&b artist team up with the mighty Daptone Records in what is to be his first album with the label. Produced by Gabriel Roth at Penrose Recorders (Daptone West), ‘Hold On!’ is due for release in February 2016 and looks set to be brimming with James’ soulful, energised and unique sound.
His forthcoming release has been described by Daptone as:
“These are forever songs crafted with immaculate care and ingenuity, sung with an effortless balance of tenderness and grit. Many will be tempted to describe it as “authentic,” but the word really has no place here. Hunter’s words are truly his own and though at moments his voice may “evoke” Ray Charles or Sam Cooke, there lies an inherent naturalness in these songs that bucks any comparison past or present.”
If this sounds right up your street you can pre-order the album from here – meanwhile check out a taster from this new release, listen above
Discover more about James hunter on his website here