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The Hard Way

Album: The Hard Way
# Song Title   Time
1)    Hard Way, The
2)    Tell Her
3)    Don't Do Me No Favours
4)    Carina
5)    She's Got a Way
6)    'Til the End
7)    Hand It Over
8)    Jacqueline
9)    Class Act
10)    Ain't Goin' Nowhere
11)    Believe Me Baby
12)    Strange But True
Product Details
Performer Notes
  • Personnel: James Hunter (vocals, guitar); James C. Hunter (vocals, guitar); Jennymay Logan (violin, viola); Gillon Cameron, Nicola Sweeney, Ellen Blair, Gill Morley (violin); Tony Woollard (cello); Damian Hand (tenor saxophone); Lee Badau (baritone saxophone); Dave Priseman (trumpet, flugelhorn); Allen Toussaint (piano, electric piano, background vocals); Kyle Koehler (organ); George Chandler (background vocals).
  • Audio Mixer: Liam Watson.
  • Recording information: Toe Rag Studios, London, England.
  • Photographer: Christian "ChrisRam" Ramirez.
  • Though British soul/blues man James Hunter has been kicking around since the 1980s, his career didn't take off until his 2006 album, PEOPLE GONNA TALK. Playing for bigger stakes, he nevertheless brings exactly the same approach to the follow-up, THE HARD WAY. Blending Sam Cooke-like smooth soul-pop, hard-grooving Lee Dorsey-esque R&B, and a terse and visceral blues guitar style, Hunter creates a musical universe in which nothing happened before 1960 or after 1965, but somehow makes it all sound timely (timeless?), vital, and relevant, crooning sweet ballads one moment and leaping into furiously syncopated stompers the next.
Professional Reviews
Down Beat (p.78) - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "Hunter's lyrics, as always, revel in the quiet wonder of romance, their imagery and wordplay pretty much timeless."

Q (Magazine) (p.102) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[W]ith songs that recall the likes of The Drifters, Robert Parker and even early James Brown. A sweetly soulful singer and spiky guitarist too..."

Mojo (Publisher) (p.65) - Ranked #46 in Mojo's "The 50 Best Albums Of 2008" -- "[T]here's still something thrillingly original here."

Paste (magazine) (p.66) - "[T]his follow-up to PEOPLE GONNA TALK re-renders the art of musical seduction even more convincingly than Hunter's mentor Van Morrison."

Record Collector (magazine) (p.92) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "The singer/guitarist once more melds the gospel tones of Sam Cooke with the R&B flamboyance of the Five Royales and T-Bone Walker."
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