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Concert Review by Nick Morgan

Dingwalls, Camden Town, London, September 30th 2008

Readers may remember that we last saw James Hunter at Camden Town’s Jazz Café back in 2007, since when he’s released a new album, The Hard Way, to follow up the hugely successful People Gonna Talk. He’s also picked up a couple of new band members, including a mighty impressive young man at the keyboards, Carwyn Ellis. Beyond that it’s hard to pin down any noticeable differences. He’s as exuberant as ever. His voice is a delight and his guitar playing … well let’s just call it idiosyncratic, but wonderful. He wears his debts to artists like Sam Cooke and The “5” Royales, like his heart, on his sleeve. He doesn’t strike me as being the most sophisticated chap in the world – you can take the man out of Essex, but you can’t take Essex out of the man, as they say – but that hardly matters when the music is simply so accomplished and so enjoyable. Mr Hunter is at the start of a long tour, taking him to continental Europe (I understand he’s a big hit in Paris), back to the UK and then over to the US, so I urge anyone with a love of good music to seek him out – it’s well worth the effort. And if you can’t do that then you should at least buy his new record, and the one before that if you don’t already have it.
- Nick Morgan (photographs by Kate)

James Hunter

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