James Hunter in Houston
It's US road trip time again and I got into Houston last night for a 16 day tour of Texas and South Louisiana with Dave Carroll, Alan Lloyd and Lee Wilkinson. We got straight into the music action with a trip to the Bronze Peacock room at the House of Blues to see the James Hunter Six. James, who used to be Howling Wilf back in the day, is a good friend of Lee so it was a free show at quite a pricey venue.
His R and B combo has a recent album out on Daptone and James is doing well. He was in high spirits, having got married in New Orleans last week, and this was a lively show, with around 20 numbers packed into 75 minutes. His good humour came across as he introduced his songs in a variety of English accents which must have been unintelligible to many in this Texan audience. He even introduced his two fine sax players in the style of Derek Guyler - hardly a household name in these parts methinks.
Musically the band was fine and James was excellent on such songs as Chicken Switch, Carina, Stranded and Jacqueline. Nearly all the numbers were original which was both a strength and a weakness, as there were similarities between quite a few them, despite the inclusion of a couple of reggae flavoured songs and the Five Royales' Baby Don't Do It. Overall, though, it was a highly enjoyable set and a brilliant start to our trip. Although coming all the way to Texas to see a home grown British rhythm and blues band is carrying coals to Newcastle in a way.
Watch this space for more updates on our trip. I will be posting loads of photos when I get back.