Monday, 11 March 2013

The James Hunter Six – Minute By Minute - Fantasy

James Hunter returns with a stunning new album.

Unbelievably, it’s been five years since James Hunters last album but the wait has been more than worth it.  The former Howlin' Wilf, now performing as The James Hunter Six, has for his first album recorded Stateside, drafted in the skills of Gabriel Roth, co founder of Daptone Records whose production has beefed up James’ authentic old school sound.
First track Chicken Switch sounds like a lost Bobby Bland recording from the vaults of Duke, an uptempo R&B dancer that I’d have as a single all day long. Title track Minute by Minute follows and slows the pace down with James' rasping vocals heading towards Otis Redding territory, interspersed with the horn section and keyboard.  The horns on Drop On Me gives it a James Brown feel, while Heartbreak reminds me of Billy Stewarts' Summertime with it’s subtle guitar riff in the background.
One Way Love brings the tempo up again and you can hear the Daptone sound all over it and is followed nicely by Goldmine. 
Let The Monkey Ride has an early Ska feel to it while Gypsy borrows the rhythm from The Champs Tequila which is no bad thing in my book, in fact I’d have this on the b-side of Chicken Switch! 
Slowing the pace down again for So They Say, a song that highlights James’s ability to keep the instrumentation simple but effective, a little riff here, a blast of saxophone there and a spacey keyboard throughout.  

Nothin’ I Wouldn’t Do has more of the same with a twangy guitar break thrown in for good measure. On Look Out there’s a great keyboard sound giving it a slightly sinister feel before the album ends with If Only I Knew, a simple and lovely ballad.  James Hunter has again delivered the goods with this album, but then you just knew that he would, it's full of warmth and soul, with nods to the great soul artists of the past. But this is very much an album of a great soul singer of the present.   
Already released Stateside, it’s available here on 25th March and he’ll be playing the Islington Assembly Hall on 28th March. There may be a vinyl edition too, if so I can't see me taking this off the turntable for a long time.
For more info on James Hunter click here.


  1. Thanks for this great review. Roll on the 25th is all I can say!!!

  2. Thanks Sharnalee, I know you're going to love the album as much as I do!