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James Hunter: A Classic R&B Revival

James Hunter in Studio on World Cafe - 04/12/2006

You might be forgiven for thinking that the music here was pulled from some vault of forgotten 1950s R&B tunes. But it comes out of contemporary London, where singer-songwriter James Hunter recorded his album People Gonna Talk.

Hunter's musical style evokes memories of artists such as Ray Charles, Sam Cooke and Bobby Bland, but the songs themselves are new, written and arranged by Hunter. "I'd just call it modern music done in a retro way, that's all," Hunter says.

The album is a debut of sorts, but the 42-year-old Hunter has been playing in public for years. After seeing Hunter perform in Wales in the early '90s, Van Morrison asked Hunter to tour with him. Hunter took him up on the offer, and ended up touring with John Lee Hooker, Junior Wells, Jimmy Witherspoon and Georgie Fame as well.

Now, a label has been founded solely for the purpose of recording Hunter's music. People Gonna Talk was released on GO Records in partnership with Rounder Records, this past March.This segment originally aired April 12, 2006.

Copyright 2006 XPN