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People Gonna Talk
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"James is one of the best voices, and best kept secrets, in British R & B and soul. Check him out." -Van Morrison
On his U.S. debut, James Hunter proves to be a man of impeccable taste who has learned from his influences rather than simply imitating them. 'People Gonna Talk' features 14 original tracks written and arranged by Hunter, who partnered with producer Liam Watson to create a wonderfully rich, classic soul sound. The album was recorded at Watson's Toe Rag Studios in East London (also home to The White Stripes' 'Elephant'), where vintage analog equipment captured the warmth of Hunter's authentic and heartfelt sensibilities.
Top Customer Reviews
"People Gonna Talk" is Hunter's first U.S.-release. It contains 14 excellent tracks, all written by Hunter. The title track, People Gonna Talk, Mollena, and Don't Come Back, were particularly good. Hunter does well both on the upbeat tracks and the more mournful, bluesy tracks. His voice and his guitar playing work well on both types of song.
The arrangements are classic, relatively simple R&B arrangements that had a strong Memphis and Southern feel to it. Hunter has a distinctive voice with a good range that at times had echoes of Ray Charles, Otis Redding and Aaron Neville. This is not to say that Hunter can match any of those giants but it is clear that Hunter's voice has some common musical DNA with all three which is pretty high praise. The downside to hearing these echoes is the concern that Hunter is more imitative than creative. That is a legitimate concern to be sure but after listening to the CD a number of times I think it safe to say that Hunter does have a style of his own even while paying homage to musicians he must have learned from while he was growing up.
If you like classic R&B you will like People Gonna Talk. The CD had the dual benefit of bringing back fond memories of the music of my youth with fresh new songs but a talented, young performer.
This man doesn't sound like anybody but James Hunter, influences notwithstanding, and you could have picked my teeth off the floor when I heard him speak on NPR. I couldn't believe a man that spoke like this could sound like this. I was sold instantly.
You know, if young black artists would rather sound like [name your favorite god-awful rap music artist] than Dee Clark, Billy Stewart, and Jackie Wilson, they've got only themselves to blame if the Europeans pick up the ball they so willingly let slip from their hands. More power to them! This is the stuff I grew up with and love. I'm ecstatic to find new material in the new millennium that's not a remake that has that same sound. And if it weren't for the Internet (and public radio), nobody'd ever know about this artist.
I always wanted to know why there couldn't be singers today that can write their own songs and have a distinct style yet still pay homage to the past. Folks, we've found the one artist so far in the world that can do it!
It's about time.
The alibi you sold me
You know it ain't water tight
A little birdie told me
And I got you dead to rights
No one's calling you a liar but
There's no smoke without fire
The liner notes to this CD contain all of the lyrics as well as some cool artwork and illustrations of the band members drawn by James Hunter himself.
If you ever get the opportunity to see James Hunter perform live, treat yourself and you'll be very glad you did. I recently saw James Hunter perform in Philadelphia at the World Cafe Live, and his touring band was superb ...Read more ›
I serendipitously happen to catch an interview with him on our local NPR station. From the strength of Mr. Hunter's generous, infectiously affable manner I immediately went out and purchased the CD. What a refreshing surprise to enjoy a disc COMPLETELY devoid of ANY crappy track on it, and every single song is originally penned. His sound, if one can imagine, is a sort of mish-mash-homage to Sam Cooke, Ray Charles, Robert Cray, Otis Redding, and Junior Walker (among others) all fused into a listening experience that's both brand spanking new and, at the same moment, oddly and lovingly familiar. His back-up band is as tight as can be imagined; and it truly is high time for the return of the smokin' Sax solo. Even if R&B is not your particular cup of tea in musical taste, I suggest a listen before judging. My 4-year-old daughter is *totally* into this CD and we've played it constantly since purchased. Her fave track is number 6: the sweet ballad for "Mollena." My favorite (which keeps switching daily) is currently track number 7: the haunting, sauntering, can't-get-it-outta-my-mind "I'll Walk Away." This has to be my MOST beloved disc for 2006 and I am delighted to give it five-PLUS stars!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Without a doubt the King of Retro Soul....great voice that lends itself to this genre. His guitar playing is stellar, but understated and horn arrangements beaconing back to Ray... Read morePublished 22 months ago by James C. Wray
Love this CD. Coming to Thunder Bay ON Bluesfest this July 4, 5 and 6th this year. Not to me missed.Published on May 22, 2014 by Lincoln Ciemny
Some sweet old school tunes from this guy. Great voice and the backup band is tasty. Saxophone! Take a risk and get this. Then pop it in and cruise.Published on May 16, 2014 by So Cal U