Personnel: James Hunter (vocals, guitar); Gill Morley (violin); Ellen Blair (viola); Carwyn Ellis (organ); Jason Wilson (bass instrument); Damian Hand (tenor saxophone); Lee Badau (baritone saxophone); Jon Lee (drums, percussion).
Additional personnel: Gavin Whitlock (baritone saxophone); Tom Morgan (piano); Vicky Matthews (organ); Carwyn Ellis, Ellen Blair, Gill Morley.
Audio Mixer: Liam Watson.
Recording information: Toe Rag Studios, London, England.
Photographer: Harry "Rockbarry" Benson.
British blues and R&B singer James Hunter performs a remarkably assured selection of self-penned songs on his vintage-sounding PEOPLE GONNA TALK album. With a noteworthy resemblance to the sound of classy 1960s U.K. R&B outfit Georgie Fame & the Blue Flames, Hunter and band journey confidently through cuts like the Sam Cooke-influenced "Mollena," the "Poppa's Got a Brand New Bag"-like "No Smoke Without Fire," and the '50s R&B of "It's Easy to Say." There's a laid-back, gently swinging feel to the album (which was done live in the same London studio the White Stripes used to record ELEPHANT), and Hunter's vocals sound soulful and authentically world-weary.
Rolling Stone (p.62) - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "James Hunter has long been championed by no less an R&B gatekeeper than Van Morrison, and one listen to these fourteen Hunter-penned gems will incite a rush to second that endorsement."
Q (p.116) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Split between hip shakers and the slow and soulful, this is ripe for appreciation by the casual listener as well as old soul fans."
Down Beat (p.74) - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "Hunter phrases leisurely, staying quietly charismatic over ska or soul-time rhythms ideal for finger-snapping."
Mojo (Publisher) (p.99) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Rooted in the great tradition, but with a clear identity all its own, PEOPLE GONNA TALK is a finely crafted showcase for that remarkable voice."