The James Hunter Six are a soul-blues band from Essex, England, who've been touring and recording together for more than a decade.
Their immediate, gritty sound provides the backing for their songwriter/guitar slinger namesake, whose weathered yet buttery smooth voice has made the group a critical favorite and a touring sensation. Given their intensity and virtuosity, no less than Allen Toussaint, Sharon Jones, and Van Morrison have been counted as fans and shared stages with them.
The rest of the lineup is made up of drummer Jonathan Lee, keyboardist/percussionist Andrew Kingslow, baritone saxophonist Lee Badau, tenor saxophonist Damian Hand, and bassist Jason Wilson. Though most of this unit has been together for nearly two decades and played stages all over the globe, they've been billed as the James Hunter Six on recordings since 2013's Gabriel Roth (aka Bosco Mann)-produced Minute by Minute -- Hunter extended the name to reflect the band's concert billing. The group signed on to the producer's Daptone label in 2013 and recorded 2016's Hold On! direct to eight-track tape at Penrose Recorders in Riverside, California. The band followed the same process with Mann on 2018's Whatever It Takes.
After completing a wildly successful world tour, Hunter moved to New York and changed the band's personnel. Before heading to California to work at Daptone's Pemrose Studios with producer Bosco Mann, Hunter traded his British band for an American one filled with jazz and R&B musicians. The new James Hunter Six featured Victor Axelrod (aka "Ticklah" on piano), Adam Scone (organ), Rudy Albin Petschauer (drums), Myles Weeks (bass), Michael Buckley (baritone saxophone), and Freddy DeBoe (tenor saxophone) behind his own guitar and vocals. Announced in December with the rhumba-drenched single "I Can Change Your Mind," the album Nick of Time appeared from Daptone in March during tours of the U.S. and U.K. with guest Matt Slocum assisting the band on keyboards. ~ Thom Jurek, Rovi