Blue Eyed Soul at his Best! By John Hellier

Been to a couple of nice gigs this week. Tuesday at the 100 Club for the new album launch from Deborah Bonham's band. Deborah was in fine form, as always, and she's surely Englands own Janis Joplin but the reason for this post is to spread the word about possibly the finest blue eyed soul singer of 'em all, well those that are still around (Mr Marriott would have loved him), James Hunter. He raised the roof (not really) at his sell out gig at the Borderline last night. It was great to see so many "faces" that I hadn't seen in a while and as for the music it just doesn't get any better than this. JH and his super tight band produced sweet soul music as you've never heard before (yeah, he's that good) from a white guy!. This was classic "mod" stuff with Hammond, horns and the like and a voice that really is Sam Cooke, Bobby Bland, Ray Charles and Smokey Robinson and the rest all rolled into one. Not forgetting James own musicianship playing blistering lead guitar with more than a shade of Ike Turner thrown in. May be retro to some people but still very relevant in 2008. Last night was merely a warm up gig for yet another US tour where they seem to appreciate this type of thing more than us. Check out the web site and have a look at the cv. He's played with the best (Aretha and co) but more to the point they've played with him! JH (the other one)

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