Robert J Hunter SAY WHAT?
Alderney blues man Robert J Hunter and his band have four albums and a few EPs to their name so you may think they’re taking a bit of risk bringing out a live album so early; especially for an independent artist, but this is exactly what they did. Recorded in one of the bands regular haunts The Flying Circus in Newark, and judging by the live audience’s reaction they are also as popular with them. The album starts with Robert screaming his I guess now forever catchphrase not once but three times Say What? then plays Loving Unfortunately: a powerhouse number to kick off any gig, straight after into Rumour Mill. Both tracks show off Robert’s punchy rock and roll blues style where the middle part of the album shows the slower soulful side to their music. The end of the set is dedicated to some of their long-standing songs Flaws and Hurricane, and ending in style with They think I’m Fine. As I already mentioned it can be a risk bringing out a live album as it doesn’t always capture the pure sound, but let me tell you this is wonderfully produced and the bass of James Le Huray, who also mixed the album, and the drum sound of Greg Sheffield, who engineered it, and not forgetting Rob, is as tight as any studio album, and they should be congratulated for that.
I spoke to Robert after one of his gigs recently and asked about the risk and he told me the next album wasn’t going to be live but they decided to record the Newark gig and it sounded great and they had such a good time with it he would love to do all his albums that way. Obviously he won’t, but it was a great experience.
If you have never seen this band live then buy this album and you will understand why the Robert J Hunter Band are setting the blues world alight at the moment, but better still go and see them: because no matter how good this album sounds you can’t capture the masterly guitar work and voice and true live experience without seeing the man himself in the flesh.
Review by Dave Martin
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