Skip to main content

The Manual may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

New Music Monday: The James Hunter Six

James Hunter six
DAP-040_1500x1500Last Friday James Hunter released Hold On!, his latest record with The James Hunter Six, through Daptone Records. Hold On! is Hunter’s first release with Daptone (though his fourth full-length), which may come as a surprise to those familiar with the artist and label. Hunter and his band play a unique brand of classic soul music that feels at home with the music of Charles Bradley and Sharon Jones.

After working with Van Morrison,  his success on the Billboard charts, and Grammy nominations, fans might have expected Hunter to take it easy on the new record. Nothing could be farther from the truth, however, and Hold On! finds Hunter at the peak of his game. Early single “(Baby) Hold On,” album opener “If That Don’t Tell You,” and the bouncing “Stranded” are all lively tracks that pulse with energy. Kinetic songs like these are what Hunter and his band have become renowned for, and all three are standout tracks.

James Hunter Six "(Baby) Hold On"

With songs like the three mentioned above filling the album’s quota for buoyant tracks, Hunter and co. give themselves room to dig into the rhythm on other tracks. Songs like “This Is Where We Came In” and “Light My Life” showcase the band’s ability to imbue their music with the essence of vintage soul and sound wholly unique at the same time. The records groove-focused tracks capture something fundamental from old school soul music while incorporating a elements of rumba, bolero, and bossa nova.

This Is Where We Came In

The James Hunter Six’s Hold On! captures the feeling of classic soul music, but never feels derivative. More than simply another feather in the artist’s cap, Hold On! finds Hunter channeling those vintage sounds through a contemporary lens.

The James Hunter Six’s Hold On! is out now on Daptone Records and available on Amazon, iTunes, and Daptone’s online shop.

Light of My Life

Editors' Recommendations

Terence Praet
Terence Praet contributes to The Manual’s New Music Monday column. He studied Philosophy and History at Skidmore College…
New Music Monday: Dawn Landes & Piers Faccini
new music monday dawn landes piers faccini  amp press photo

 Desert Songs, the collaborative EP from Dawn Landes and Piers Faccini, has been a long-time coming. The two musicians first worked together on a track for Faccini's record Songs I Love. Afterward, Landes and Faccini performed together near the latter's home in southern France. Those two interactions convinced both artists that a collaboration would be fruitful, and a few months later they regrouped to record what would become Desert Songs.

With inspiration from the early Christian Desert Fathers and Sufi mysticism alike, the record Landes and Faccini have produced a delicate, ethereal record that still feels substantial. Landes and Faccini's voices float above a variety of instruments, including: kora, resonator guitar, and Indian dulcimer, among others.

Read more
New Music Monday: David Bowie
new music monday david bowie chicago 2002 08 photoby by adam bielawski

Editor's note: This post was written before we learned of the death of Mr. Bowie. Our condolences to his family. 

In 2013, David Bowie returned from a decade-long hiatus with The Next Day. The album was well-received critically and found Bowie back in the art-pop territory he has long found his own. Now, two years later, David Bowie is back with another new album, Blackstar. Even after 26 studio albums, Bowie has managed to make a record unique from all his others.

Read more
New Music Monday: Our Most Anticipated Albums of 2016
new music monday our most anticipated albums of 2016 vampire weekend

This week's New Music Monday is breaking format slightly by focusing not on a record that's come out recently, but on what's to come. Below you will find three artists whose records are some of our most anticipated albums for the coming year.


Read more