The James Hunter Six
Britain’s James Hunter makes tough old-school R&B with a bracing modern-day kick, so it makes sense for him to gravitate to Brooklyn’s Daptone Records, where the likes of Sharon Jones and Charles Bradley have been doing the same thing for years.
Dispatching 10 songs in a brisk 30 minutes, Hunter’s debut for the label—recorded in mono, of course!—creates the sensation of dropping in on a spirited late-night set in a smoky, crowded club, with Hunter playing the fiery soul shouter to perfection. (No wonder Van Morrison stepped in as an early mentor.) Featuring a pair of sizzling saxes, Hunter’s ultra-tight band cooks with authority, but his swaggering, good-humored vocals and snappy tunes are the main attraction. From the stomping “Free Your Mind (While You Still Got Time)” to the lilting, Sam Cooke-inspired “This Is Where We Came In,” Hold On! is a party not to be missed.