Soul deep Brit James Hunter - who possesses a "tight, slithery soul groove" and a "sweet growl" (NY Times) - will make his Hear Music debut with the June 10 release of 'The Hard Way.' The new album finds Hunter delving further into the realm of deep soul on a set of all-original material.
'The Hard Way' was produced by Liam Watson (The White Stripes) at famed analog haven Toe Rag Studios in London. The album will be carried in Starbucks company-operated locations in the U.S. and Canada as well as traditional music retailers and digital download stores starting on June 10, 2008.
The instrumental palette is rich and the arrangements sharpened for 'The Hard Way.' Allen Toussaint joins Hunter on the sultry "Til The End," the rhumba "Believe Me Baby," and the title track. The gorgeous Echo Strings buoy "The Hard Way" and the romantic "Carina," with accompanying pedal steel. The jumping "Don't Do Me No Favors" is designed for the dance floor.
The album resolves with the romantic ballad "Strange But True," the first Hunter recording stripped down to just vocals and guitar. The album also showcases further evidence of Hunter's guitar prowess, his manic solos recalling the fretwork of Ike Turner.
Hunter has extensively road tested the new album, crisscrossing North America and Europe since his 2006, GRAMMY nominated album 'People Gonna Talk' put him on the map. That album took him from being "one of the best voices, and best kept secrets, in British R'n'B and Soul," as Van Morrison put it, to a major breakout success of 2006. He opened for Etta James, Boz Scaggs, Los Lonely Boys, and Aretha Franklin; reached #1 on Billboard's Blues chart; and made several national television appearances. 'People Gonna Talk; earned him critical acclaim as well, with Rolling Stone calling it "a treat not to miss" and USA Today raving about his "sublime soul."
James Hunter Tour Dates:
7 Roscoe, New York WJFF Series: Live from Big Twig
10 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania World Café Live
11 New York, New York Blender theater
14 St Louis, MO Fox theater
17 Kettering, OH Fraze Pavilion
19 Ann Arbor, MI Ann Arbor Summer Festival
20 Highland Park, IL Ravinia
24 Toronto, ON Toronto Jazz Festival
26 Minneapolis, MN Minnesota Zoo
27 Council Bluffs, Iowa Stir Summer Concert Series
28 Milwaukee, WI Summerfest
1 Los Angeles, California Troubadour
4 Quincy, California High Sierra Music Festival
5 Quincy, CA High Sierra Music Festival
6 Portland, Oregon Waterfront Blues Festival
8 Seattle, WA Triple Door
11 San Francisco, CA Bimbo' 365 Club
12 Santa Barbara Lobero Theater
16 Austin, TX Antone's
The Hard Way Track List
The Hard Way
Don't Do Me No Favors
She's Got A Way
Til The End
Hand It Over
Ain't Going Nowhere
Believe Me Baby
Strange But True