James Hunter
People Gonna Talk
(Rounder)
Recorded by producer Liam Watson (The White Stripes), People Gonna Talk cannot help sounding 40 years old, yet fresh as tomorrow. Hunter has played with Van Morrison and somehow melds the élan of Sam Cooke with John Hiatt’s wrinkles, and that’s just his singing. His searing, quick turns on guitar support a twin sax attack that particularly dazzles on “Riot in My Heart.” The less-is-more approach catches the ear like a pause in dialogue. Carwyn Ellis’s organ leaves a Georgie Fame-sized impression despite being on only half the record. Hunter strikes a blow for serenity in the age of sonic clutter, and every player makes the most of his time at bat.
—Doug Taylor

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