Van Hunt’s latest record, What Were You Hoping For?, came out at the end of September. Hunt is one of those performers who have a lot of different genre labels hung on him. His music is part soul, a large part rock and even larger part old-school 1970s style funkiness. Hints of psychedelia can be whiffed here and there as well. And he is a songwriter par excellence.
The live show is a hundred kinds of good; enthralling vocals, blazing guitars and the rhythm half of the band (including Hunt himself on bass) do not know how to miss a beat. This is a true updating of 70s rock/funk/soul crossover. Think Delfonics (maybe) but this band rock more than Delfonics (who were, in their defense, not tryint to rock. You can even hear a little Marvin Gaye when they dial it down a bit. The thing is, you could name a lot of acts from the 70s trying to create this mix and get it right—most of them didn’t do it nearly this good. The band's press mentioned a bit of "punk" in the music. I doubted that but, especially on the record, there is no doubt. Van Hunt and band are not imitative but they take whatever they need for a given song from whatever genre is appropriate.
This isn’t nostalgia music; it is music for right now.
Van Hunt is one of a number of recent acts that I've seen with opening acts that were top notch. It usually bodes well when a band is touring with an opener who is really good; it means they have no fear of being upstaged. New Orleans' Empress Hotel are a band in a similar vein to Hunt's. They emphasize different aspects of the music which make the two acts a good fit on the same bill.
Empress Hotel photos will be up soon.
Finding out more about Van Hunt and buying What Were You Hoping For?
are both highly recommended. You can both at www.vanhunt.com
Drummer & Keyboard Player--Out Of The Light Makes For Bad Photo!
Taking pictures of the crowd...