Over the span of 30 years, he’s worked on the railway, busked in the streets of London, provided backup vocals and guitar for Van Morrison, played clubs and theaters all over the world, written scores of original songs, and recorded some of the most original and honest rhythm & soul albums of the last two decades. By 2006, Hunter was recognized with nominations for a GRAMMY® Award (“Best Traditional Blues Album” for People Gonna Talk (Rounder)) and an American Music Award (“Best New/Emerging Artist”). He and his band then hit the road for a decade of extensive touring and recorded critically-acclaimed studio albums— The Hard Way (Hear Music), Minute by Minute (Fantasy), Hold On! (Daptone), Whatever it Takes (Daptone). By 2016, MOJO magazine had crowned him “The United Kingdom’s Greatest Soul Singer.”
And now, The James Hunter Six are back with another sublime offering of no nonsense rhythm and blues. Recorded and produced by Bosco Mann, Nick of Time is a shining example of how a master song-smith can continually draw fresh water from a bottomless well. In addition to the uptempo, swinging R&B that has put The James Hunter Six on the map, Nick of Time explores so much more!
The opening track and lead single, "I Can Change Your Mind", is a beautiful, mid-tempo rumba that tips the hat to the sound of many early King/Federal releases, but executed with a vibrancy that propels the tune into the 21st Century. The lush arrangements on "Till I Hear it from You" and " He's Your Could Have Been" sound like lost tracks from an early '60s Burt Bacharach session. â€‹The straight forward soul of "Brother or Other" (whose timely message is only tantamount to its groove), and the sparse "Paradise for One" (that finds James channeling his innermost Nat King Cole), enrich the album with sounds one may not readily associate with James and Co. - culminating in James' most exciting full-length release to date.
At age 16, Hunter left school in Colchester, Essex and began working for the railway, while honing his blues guitar and singing skills. Six years later, he played his first paid gig at the Colchester Labour club (as “Howlin’ Wilf and the Vee-Jays”). In the decades since, James Hunter has gone from singer/songwriter to labourer and back again. After releasing one album in 1986, Hunter and his band became a popular fixture on the UK club circuit and radio waves. His gritty, soulful voice has matured well along with his musicianship and song writing.
In the early 90’s, Van Morrison recruited Hunter to sing backup on the road touring and on two albums, A Night in San Francisco and Days Like This. In the years to follow, Hunter opened shows for Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Willie Nelson, and Tom Petty, and headlined clubs and theatres in England, Europe, Australia and the United States.