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The Hard Way

Rate It! Avg: 4.5 (105 ratings)

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The Hard Way album cover
The Hard Way
Tell Her
Don’t Do Me No Favours
She’s Got A Way
‘Til The End
Hand It Over
Class Act
Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere
Believe Me Baby
Strange But True
Album Information

Total Tracks: 12   Total Length: 38:35

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People Gonna Talk (2006) suggested that James Hunter might be capable of a great soul album. This is it. Great songs, great band, and one of the best British soul voices since Dusty Springfield. 60s-style songs and arrangements with 21st century sound quality.

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not from motown?


thought he mught have been a fluke - no way. This guy gets to the heart of soul.

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Instant classic


Holy cow, imagine my surprise in finding that this came out last year, not 1966. Sweet soul grooves will make you smile.

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Im indifferent to hip,and hop is what bunnies do;this is my kind of cool.Feel the groove if you ain't dull yet!

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Get the whole album


Don't waste your time sampling song by song. This is a winner. Great album to listen to while sitting on your deck in the late afternoon.

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Duxdo is a cheapskate!


That makes this album 37 minutes better than anything else released in 2008! Get your hand in your pocket man. :)

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Along with Ry Cooder, John Hiatt, Bonnie Raitt and Delbert McClinton I have to keep buying the actual CD's to keep up the collection and James Hunter is 5th. artist that falls into this compulsion. All others now get downloaded from eMusic etc. This latest album from the very talented Mr. Hunter is his best yet, not just for the catchy, traditional R&B tunes, not just for the contributions from living legend Allen Toussaint and not just cos I'm biased. He has truly blossomed and expanded his skills so that his entertaining stage show is translated into quality recordings that are both modern but respectful of a by-gone era. Still based in London, but working mainly in the USA, it is worth going out and catching him play live to get the real deal, seeing how good he and his loyal band of musicians can blow the socks off any current performing artists. Download the album and you will not regret it, then check out the back catalogue.

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Download Now!


I cannot take this disc out of my player. The guy is a great singer, guitarist, and most of all, a great songwriter. This is genuine late 50's, early 60's rhythm and blues done the right way.

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No filler


This is 38 minutes of R&B bliss. Every second counts. Download it worry-free.

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C'mon James


Great album with one complaint. I was going to purchase this one in the store as I have done with Jame's CDs in the past. One thing held me up - 38 minutes long ! Artists need to understand that we deserve a full length album for a full price ! Thank you e-music for making this an album worth downloading

They Say All Music Guide

Although his commercial fortunes had not yet matched theirs by the time this album was released, James Hunter had been promoting the revival of classic-era soul for a couple decades before fellow Brits Amy Winehouse, Corinne Bailey Rae, and Joss Stone came along. His command of the idiom has never been less than thorough and convincing — without knowing that the songs on The Hard Way were newly recorded, anyone might guess that this retro feast was a long-lost gem from 1966. Hunter’s voice is equal parts grits and silk, somewhere between Sam Cooke smooth and Bobby “Blue” Bland scorched, and his small combo of sympathetic players could easily have found work in the studios of Hi, Stax, or Chess back when this style reigned. Compared to Hunter’s last, 2006′s Grammy-nominated People Gonna Talk, The Hard Way, his debut for Hear Music, is a tad tougher — the horns are more prominent and sharper, Hunter’s guitar has more bite to it, and the rhythms cut deeper — and quicker; at times Hunter veers closer to soul-rock than he has in the past, but he’s still working well within his favorite genre. Hunter, as always, is a riveting vocalist — his singing grabs and never lets go. He handles both the lazy, bluesy tunes and the sweatier uptempo R&B with equal commitment and style, sounding as natural as can be as he tells his tales of love and the lack of it. On the slinky blues ballad “‘Til the End,” one of a few tunes on which he is joined by New Orleans legend Allen Toussaint, Hunter takes his time spilling out his doomsday scenario of a relationship gone down while the drums, bass, and horns lope along minimally. When he unfurls his brief guitar solo midway, it’s economical but searing. On the rocking “Jacqueline” a doo-woppy chorus and squalling sax fill in the holes, and for the title track, a Cooke ringer, the Echo Strings add muscle and sass to the arrangement. Dancefloor denizens once ached for tunes this beat-crazy and would do well to reacquaint themselves with the real deal via James Hunter. – Jeff Tamarkin

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