13 Songs, 42 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Blessed with a buttery smooth voice that’s a perfect blend of purr and growl — both Sam Cooke and Jackie Wilson are accurate comparisons — James Hunter is a British R&B veteran who's been a long time gaining the wider recognition he deserves. His sound is pure classic soul and songs like the title track and “Don’t Do Me No Favours” seem like they could have been singles released by Hi or Stax records during their mid-1960s heydays. But this retro feel should in no way suggest that Hunter is some kind of oldies act because these are solid, well-constructed songs by any measure, featuring sophisticated string touches as well as thrillingly rough edges. Backed by a skin-tight band that includes a sharp double-sax horn section, he’s also joined on a few tunes by the legendary pianist Allen Touissant, a man who has greatly influenced Hunter’s own sound. Hunter is also a tough guitarist and he fires off some scorching solos throughout. The Hard Way is a joy from start to finish and anyone who loves classic 60s-era soul should eat this one up.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Blessed with a buttery smooth voice that’s a perfect blend of purr and growl — both Sam Cooke and Jackie Wilson are accurate comparisons — James Hunter is a British R&B veteran who's been a long time gaining the wider recognition he deserves. His sound is pure classic soul and songs like the title track and “Don’t Do Me No Favours” seem like they could have been singles released by Hi or Stax records during their mid-1960s heydays. But this retro feel should in no way suggest that Hunter is some kind of oldies act because these are solid, well-constructed songs by any measure, featuring sophisticated string touches as well as thrillingly rough edges. Backed by a skin-tight band that includes a sharp double-sax horn section, he’s also joined on a few tunes by the legendary pianist Allen Touissant, a man who has greatly influenced Hunter’s own sound. Hunter is also a tough guitarist and he fires off some scorching solos throughout. The Hard Way is a joy from start to finish and anyone who loves classic 60s-era soul should eat this one up.

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