James Hunter

The best male neo-soul singer to emerge from Britain this century started out in the pubs as Howlin' Wilf (a name seemingly culled from This Is Spinal Tap), even while still a railroad worker in Colchester. With splendid R&B pipes and an uncanny ability to channel the likes of Sam Cooke, Jackie Wilson, and even James Brown's yowl, James Hunter eventually emerged with his own persona, albeit one comfortably ensconced in the aura of the '50s and '60s. His two U.S. releases—People Gonna Talk, The Hard Way (the last from 2008)—were highly addictive revelations, his originals naturally slipping among the classics, driven by honking horns and his own bristling guitar work, informed by jump jazz and seminal funk. Hunter returns leading his six-piece band. (Photo by Chris Ramirez)
Mondays, Tuesdays, 7 p.m. Starts: Feb. 7. Continues through Feb. 8, 2011

 
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