James Hunter (born 2 October 1962) is an English R&B musician and soul singer.


Hunter was born to a working-class family in Colchester, Essex. His early musical influences came from his grandmother's collection of 78rpm records of R'n'B and rock and roll music. Before turning 10, Hunter had begun playing the guitar and singing[1] His career began with a band called Howlin' Wilf and the Vee-Jays, who released their first album in 1986 entitled Cry Wilf.[2] Later he released three more with his own band. He spent much of the 1990s playing small clubs in London, such as the Weavers Pub in Islington (North London), and the 100 Club on Oxford Street in London. Hunter's soulful style drew the attention of Van Morrison, who appeared on Hunter's first album released on Ace, Believe What I Say, in 1996. (Morrison sang backing vocals on "Turn On Your Love Light" and "Ain't Nothing You Can Do".)[2] Hunter's relationship with Morrison led to a tour with the latter in the early 1990s; he sang backing vocals on Morrison's 1994 live album, A Night in San Francisco, and his 1995 studio recording Days Like This.[3] Hunter's first solo release in the United States, his 2006 breakthrough album People Gonna Talk, was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Album at the 49th Grammy Awards ceremony.[4] He parted ways with Rounder Records in 2008 and issued the album The Hard Way via Hear Music/Concord.

In popular culture

  • His song "This Is Where We Come In" was featured in the Superstore episode "Christmas Eve".
  • His song "Chicken Switch" was featured in the Sneaky Pete episode "Safe".
  • His song "'Til Your Fool Comes Home" was featured in the Boston Legal episode "Duck and Cover".
  • His song "Look Out" was featured in the Suits (season 3) episode "Unfinished Business".


Solo and as leader

Howlin' Wilf & The Veejays:

  • Howlin Wilf & the Vee-Jays, Cry Wilf! (1986), re-issued by Big Beat (2002)
  • Blue Men Sing The Whites (mini LP), Waterfront WF 036 (1987)
  • Howlin' Wilf & The Vee-Jays, Unamerican Activities BRAVE 8 (1988/89)
  • 6 By Six (six song mini album), Hound Dog BUT 004 (1990)

James Hunter:

The James Hunter Six:

  • Minute By Minute[5] (2013), Universal[6]
  • Hold On! (2016), Daptone Records
  • Whatever It Takes (2018), Daptone Records
  • Nick of Time (2020), Daptone Records
  • With Love (2022), Daptone Records

Album appearances


  1. ^ Unterberger, Richie. "James Hunter Biography, Songs, & Albums". AllMusic. Retrieved 16 June 2022.
  2. ^ a b Colin Larkin, ed. (2000). The Virgin Encyclopedia of Nineties Music (First ed.). Virgin Books. p. 196. ISBN 0-7535-0427-8.
  3. ^ "James Hunter and the Return of Analog Soul". NPR.
  4. ^ "49th Annual Grammy Awards Winners List". National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on 20 December 2006. Retrieved 8 July 2008.
  5. ^ "The James Hunter Six Keep Time on 'Minute by Minute' Song Premiere | Music News". Rolling Stone. 5 December 2012. Archived from the original on 27 March 2018. Retrieved 4 March 2013.
  6. ^ Perusse, Bernard (23 February 2013). "New music review: Minute by Minute, The James Hunter Six (Universal) | Montreal Gazette". The Gazette. Montreal. Retrieved 4 March 2013.

External links