James Hunter Six
Jesse Dee, Dining option 1
500 N. Market St.
Wilmington, DE, 19801
Doors 6:30 PM / Show 8:00 PM
This event is all ages
Watch & Listen
James Hunter Six
Minute by Minute
With his last two albums, 2006’s Grammy-nominated People Gonna Talk and 2008’s The Hard Way, James Hunter delivered a classic yet perpetually modern brand of rhythm and blues that captivated listeners across generations and earned him two Billboard Blues #1's, tours with Aretha Franklin, Van Morrison, Etta James, and Willie Nelson, performances on Leno, Letterman, and Conan, and critical raves everywhere from the NY Times to USA Today.
Minute By Minute, due out February 26, 2013 on GO Records/Fantasy, marks a pivotal movement in this unique artist’s career—not only because it arguably contains his best writing, singing, and playing to date, but because it signals James’ return to the studio following the loss of his wife Jacqueline, who died of cancer in October 2011.
It’s also the first album credited to The James Hunter Six. James made this change in recognition of the collective talent and unstinting loyalty shown by his longtime cohorts Lee Badau (baritone saxophone), Damian Hand (tenor saxophone), Kyle Koehler (organ), Jonathan Lee (drums), and Jason Wilson (double bass). The Six have hung together through multiple albums and more than two decades of international touring, from small clubs to the Hollywood Bowl – developing a cohesion and intuitive knack for creating precisely the right arrangement and feel for James' original songs.
And Minute By Minute is the first James Hunter album to be recorded in the US, and the first to be produced by Gabriel Roth, aka Bosco Mann Productions. Roth is co- founder of Daptone Records, America’s premier soul revival imprint. He earned a Grammy for his expert engineering on Amy Winehouse’s best–selling album Back to Black, and has also produced and/or engineered recordings by Lee Fields, Charles Bradley, Sharon Jones & the Dap–Kings, the Budos Band, and Naomi Shelton & the Gospel Queens, among others.
“It really does have a leaner and punchier sound than our previous albums,” Hunter says of Roth’s deft, unobtrusive touch on Minute by Minute, punctuating his remarks with characteristic raspy laughter. “I take the credit it for that, because I followed Gabe’s suggestions. I thought that was very intelligent of me!
“Without pouring any fancy ketchup on it, Gabe got this sound that we always thought we should have had.”
The Story So Far
James Hunter was born October 2, 1962 into a working–class family in Colchester, Essex. “It wasn’t quite like growing up with the blues in Alabama, but in my part of England, anywhere south of Watford would be considered Alabama,” he notes. “In the States, you’ve got the Mason– Dixon Line and in England, we’ve got the Watford Gap.” Among James’ earliest musical influences was a collection of 78 r.p.m. records of Fifties rock ‘n’ roll and rhythm & blues given to him by his grandmother; and his older brother Perry Hunstman (James' real surname), “the one responsible for me learning how to play a G chord.” (Perry later became an accomplished acoustic guitarist; he
performs regularly on the Midlands folk club circuit, playing in a traditional fingerpicking style.)
James’ passion for the music of the Fifties and Sixties never waned as he toiled for seven years as a signal locking fitter in Colchester, tending to a Victorian–era safety feature found in signal boxes.
In the early Nineties, Van Morrison caught James’ act at a gig in Wales and subsequently hired him as a backup singer for several years of touring and recording. James appeared on Morrison’s live album, A Night in San Francisco (1994), and on the studio set, Days Like This (1995). About Hunter, Morrison said, "He's one of the best voices and best kept secrets in British R&B and soul."
But by 2003, James Hunter was 41 years old and without a record deal or a gig. His dreams of a career in music were fading. “I went through a particularly skint time,” he later told an interviewer. “I was forced to do laboring jobs through an agency. It was terrible. I discovered that busking was better. The hours were more sociable; the pay was better, and the crack addicts were far better company!”
Through a chance encounter with an American vacationing in London, busking later led to management and a record deal, and in 2006, GO Records/Rounder released People Gonna Talk, the first James Hunter album ever issued in the US. With its affectionate echoes of Sam Cooke and Jackie Wilson, the disc became an airplay staple on some of the nation’s most influential radio stations. The Los Angeles Times praised James Hunter’s “extraordinary soul voice”; Rolling Stone called his album “a treat not to miss.” By the year’s end, People Gonna Talk was among the Top Ten “Best Albums of 2006” as cited by Mojo, USA Today and the WFUV listeners’ poll, to name a few. It was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Album and James himself was nominated as Best New/Emerging Artist in the annual Americana Music Awards.
Hunter’s next album, The Hard Way (GO Records/Hear Music) earned even better accolades, with Rolling Stone calling it “unbelievably awesome” and the New York Times praising Hunter’s “tight, slithery groove” and “sweet growl.” The album featured a guest appearance by avowed Hunter fan Allen Toussaint, and like its predecessor reached #1 on the Billboard Blues Chart. Hunter toured extensively behind it, both as a headliner and supporting the likes of Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Willie Nelson, Van Morrison, Chris Isaak, Boz Scaggs and others.
Boston's Jesse Dee is a singing, songwriting, guitar-playing soul man-a modern day trailblazer inspired by the old school. Dee's passion is exploring and updating soul music for contemporary audiences. With his warm and honest sound, his instantly memorable melodies and positive, slice-of-life lyrics (evoking the heyday of the Brill Building songwriters), he accomplishes just that. His inventive, hook-filled songs are delivered with buoyant, youthful exuberance. Live, he always brings down the house, and keeps his ever-growing fan base coming back for more. His band lays down driving, infectious grooves while Dee's expressive vocals put him in a class by himself. On the strength of his fervent live shows, Dee plays to packed clubs in New England and has toured across Europe, earning new fans at every gig. The Boston Herald declares, "Dee has an explosive voice. He possesses a powerful, raspy tenor and an uncanny phrasing ability that can't be taught."
Dee won the 2010 Boston Phoenix Music Poll Award for Best R&B Act, both for the strength of his live show and the aftershocks of his 2008 debut CD, Bittersweet Batch (7Not Records/Munich Records). With his new album, ON MY MIND / IN MY HEART, his first for Alligator Records, Dee is now poised to break into the minds and hearts of music lovers across the country and around the world. The album, eleven original songs produced by Dee and Jack Younger, is a sweet soul masterpiece full of good vibes and funky, joyful music. Like Sam Cooke, Dee writes about real life with true emotional poetry. His lyrics are set to toe-tapping melodies with horn charts channeling The Memphis Horns and 1970s-era Van Morrison.
Much like an artist painting on canvas (another of his talents), Dee crafts his songs in layers, oftentimes starting with a melody and lyrics, then carefully adding guitar riffs, horn blasts, vocal inflections, or any number of other colors from his musical palette. He fills his songs with a wide variety of textures, allowing listeners to visualize the images he paints with his words. "I'm a music fan first," Dee says, "so it's important to me to seek out and create with original ideas. That's why songwriting is so important, and why I mean every word I write and sing."
Born in 1980 in Boston, MA, Dee grew up in nearby Arlington. He got his first taste of soul music from local oldies radio station WODS when he was eight years old. As a child, he was drawn to the sounds of The Drifters, The Shirelles, Smokey Robinson, Sam Cooke and other doo wop, Motown and R&B greats. He always loved singing, and would often record made-up tunes into his tape recorder. He sang in school theatre productions and church choir, and was writing songs by his mid-teens. Dee began fronting a band soon after, but didn't pick up his first guitar until he was 18. With help from his musically inclined father and The Bob Dylan Six-Chord Songbook, he taught himself the instrument well enough to start performing as a solo artist a year later. During this period, Jesse immersed himself in the music of Otis Redding, Jackie Wilson, Solomon Burke, Etta James, James Brown and all the deep soul masters, listening, learning, writing and continuing to hone his craft by playing live every chance he could get.
Dee attended Massachusetts College Of Art And Design, studying illustration, performance, production, mixed-media and composition. He sang with the ten-piece ensemble Decifunk, and toured up and down the East Coast. In the early 2000's he even lent his voice to rock 'n' roll band The Dirty Whites before starting his own group. He released his first album, Bittersweet Batch, in 2008, and heads immediately began turning. The New York Daily News awarded the CD a rare four-star review, saying, "I am blown away by what's coming out of my speakers...remarkable...there isn't a bad song to be found...upbeat and soulful."
The success of the CD allowed Dee and his band to travel beyond Boston, making new converts in Washington, DC, New York, Philadelphia, Nashville, and Chicago. He first toured the Netherlands, the UK and Italy in 2009 before heading back again the following two years, this time adding Ireland, Belgium, Germany, France and Spain to his itinerary. Dee has opened for soul greats Al Green, Solomon Burke, Etta James, Bettye LaVette, and blues rockers Los Lobos and the J. Geils Band, and has shared stages many times with fellow soul singer James Hunter.
Dee is ready to set the world on fire. He will tour widely, bringing his modern, fun and timeless music to clubs, concert halls and festivals all over the world. Dee is proud of the songs on ON MY MIND / IN MY HEART, saying the music is a perfect representation of where he is as an artist. "Soul music is capable of touching the greatest and most diverse group of people," Dee says. "All the best soul music is based on shared experience. Songs have the ability to affect people, shine a light, lift them up, and push them forward. There's hope in these songs," he continues, "and people need that now more than ever."
Dining option 1
Chicken Wings $11
Choice of buffalo or barbeque sauce
served with blue cheese dressing, carrots & celery sticks
Garlic Hummus $10
Served with sliced cucumbers, carrots, olives, pita wedges & naan bread
Fish Tacos $9
Cajun spiced & fried tilapia with jicama slaw & sweet corn
– salsa roja & guacamole on the side
House Salad $8
Mixed greens, chickpeas, avocado, cucumber, enoki mushrooms, red onion & grape tomatoes tossed with aged balsamic vinaigrette
-Add chicken or chili-garlic fried tofu $4
Caesar Salad $10
Crisp romaine lettuce, brioche croutons &
grated parmesan with a creamy caesar dressing
-Add chicken or chili-garlic fried tofu $4
WCL Burger $11
Grilled angus beef topped with bourbon bacon, applewood smoked bacon, cheddar, lettuce, tomato & red onion on a croissant bun
- Served with french fries
Braised Pork Sandwich $10
Shredded braised pork with barbeque sauce, balsamic onion jam & slaw on a brioche bun
- Served with french fries
Falafel Sandwich $11
Feta, shredded cucumbers, garlic hummus & tzatziki sauce served on naan
- Served with french fries
Duck Confit $15
Slow cooked & barbeque glazed duck thigh
- Served with cheddar-bacon home fries & roasted sweet corn
Atlantic Salmon $15
Glazed with ginger & honey then served atop shaved pineapple & vegetable fried rice
Korean Tofu $13
Crispy Tofu with a sesame chili glaze atop spicy cabbage & purple short grain rice
Menu is subject to change