Welcome to Artcetera. Arts-and-entertainment writers and critics post movie news, concert updates, people items, video, photos and more. Share your views. Check it daily. Remain in the know. Contributors: Mary Abbe, Aimee Blanchette, Jon Bream, Tim Campbell, Colin Covert, Laurie Hertzel, Tom Horgen, Neal Justin, Claude Peck, Rohan Preston, Chris Riemenschneider, Graydon Royce, Randy Salas and Kristin Tillotson.

England's James Hunter reinvents vintage American R&B at the Dakota

Posted by: Jon Bream under Music Updated: April 25, 2012 - 3:16 AM

A few thoughts on British retro soul man James Hunter’s return engagement at the Dakota Jazz Club this week:

* He is certainly schooled in American R&B of the 1950s and ’60s but he creates his own modern-day version of it.

* His five-man band is tight and talented. The two saxophonists got plenty of solos during Tuesdays’ 85-minute set. How bout more solos for the B3 organ player?

* Hunter can shine on guitar but he doesn’t take enough solos — and they’re all pretty concise.

* The singer sparkles whenever he does material by the 5 Royales. Highlight: "Baby, I’m Doing It."

* Hunter loves him some James Brown, though he didn’t cover any Brown songs.

* Vocally, Sam Cooke may be Hunter’s strongest influence. But, after some Canadian gigs, his voice sounded all raunched out Tuesday. Let’s hope it’s something temporary and not nodes.

* Hunter, who hasn’t released an album of new material since 2008, did a couple of new numbers. "Chicken Switch" was Wilson Pickett-meets-James Brown southern funk. "Gold Mine" felt like Brown on the boardwalk.

* Hunter dedicated two consecutive songs to "the missus." He didn’t mention that she died of cancer in October.

* Hunter, 48, looks like he could be John Mellencamp’s kid brother.

Hunter performs again at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Dakota. Boston soul man Jesse Dee opens.


Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters