The James Hunter Six
James Hunter has nothing to prove.
In the space of 30 years, he worked in the railways, played in the streets of London, made the chorus and the guitarist for Van Morrison, performed in clubs and halls around the world, wrote a plethora of songs, and recorded some of the most original and honest rhythm and soul albums of the last twenty years.
In 2006, Hunter was nominated for the GRAMMY® Awards (“Best Traditional Blues Album” for People Gonna Talk (Rounder)) and the American Music Awards (“Best New Artist”). Then, he toured with his band for ten years and recorded three other critically acclaimed records: The Hard Way (Concord), Minute by Minute (Concord) and Hold On! (Daptone). In 2016, the magazine MOJO crowns him “Best Soul Singer of the United Kingdom”.
On February 2, 2018, James Hunter released Whatever It Takes, his most ambitious album to date. Recorded live on the famous Gabriel Roth’s 8-track record, at Daptone Records, the famous soul label, the album features ten original songs by Hunter.
At the age of 16, Hunter left school in Colchester, Essex, and began working for the railroads, while honing his talents as a guitarist and blues singer. Six years later, he gave his first concert at the Colchester Labor Club as Howlin ‘Wilf & the Vee-Jays. For the next ten years, James Hunter oscillates between his work as a laborer and his career as an author / composer. With his group, he released a record in 1986 and became the darling of boxes and English radios. With age, his hoarse and warm tone has developed, along with his guitar playing and writing.
In the early ’90s, Van Morrison hired Hunter as a backing vocalist for a tour and two albums, A Night in San Francisco and Day’s Like This. Subsequently, Hunter opened for Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Willie Nelson, and Tom Petty, before playing in headliners in clubs and venues in England, Europe, Australia, and the United States.
Once again, he enters the studio as one of the James Hunter Six, accompanied by Jonathan Lee (drums), Lee Badau (baritone saxophone), Damian Hand (tenor saxophone), Andrew Kingslow (keyboard / percussion), and Jason Wilson (bass).
Hunter’s latest album, Whatever It Takes, is partly inspired by Jessie, his new wife. Originally from New Jersey, Jessie hears James on the radio and then meets him after a concert in New York. They marry a year later in New Orleans, and settle in Brighton, on the south coast of England. James dedicates three songs especially to Jessie: “I Do not Wanna Be Without You,” “I Got Eyes,” and “Whatever It Takes,” written to cheer him up during the trying process of applying for residency in the United Kingdom. United.
Whatever It Takes is James Hunter Six’s third album with Roth (also known as Bosco Mann), an old fan of Hunter’s writing and voice. “Not only for its natural beauty and its hoarse tone, but also for its honesty.” And Hunter, just as perfectionist about his music, explains that “it’s rare when a producer knows what to look for before he or she is told. It’s nice to work with a record company that understands us. “