HUNTER AND COLLECTOR
A British singer-songwriter’s unconventional remedies for heartbreak.
BY BEN GREENMAN
Onstage, the fifty-one-year-old British singer and songwriter James Hunter has the energy of a man half his age, or younger. With a soulful tenor that recalls a range of R. & B. giants, from Sam Cooke to Bobby Bland, Hunter leads his band, the James Hunter Six, through strict tempos and lightning-quick switchbacks. And unlike his former mentor Van Morrison, who enlisted him as a guitarist and backup singer in the mid-nineties, Hunter is warm and engaging: while Morrison is known to turn his back to the crowd between songs, Hunter is more likely to be telling a joke and checking with the audience to see if they’re having a good time.