British R&B breakout James Hunter rocks the Grand April 17 | Kingston Grand Theatre

British R&B breakout James Hunter rocks the Grand April 17

British R&B breakout James Hunter rocks the Grand April 17
Rolling Stone calls him ‘a treat not to be missed’

“An overnight success that‘s taken 20 years...”

That‘s how James Hunter describes the outpouring of praise and acceptance for his 2006 album, People Gonna Talk. Issued in March 2006 on GO Records/Rounder, the Grammy nominated People Gonna Talk was the singer/songwriter/guitarist‘s first Stateside release after two decades of performing and recording in his native Britain.

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 his biography. “In the States, you‘ve got the Mason-Dixon Line and in England, we‘ve got the Watford Gap.”

Van  Morrision hired James as a backup singer in the early ‘90s and  he spent several years  touring and recording with the soul singer. James appeared on Morrison’s live album, A Night in San Francisco (1994), and on the studio set, Days Like This (1995). But by 2003, James’s dreams of a career in music were rapidly fading until he discovered that busking paid well and suited his temperament.

Then came People Gonna Talk, and in its wake, the reviews, the airplay, the award nominations, and loads of gigs.

With the release of The Hard Way, James Hunter takes a giant step toward staking his place in the pop-soul pantheon alongside Sam Cooke and Jackie Wilson, Charlie Rich and Van Morrison. In his typically straight-forward and self-effacing way, the singer told The Boston Globe: “The history [of rhythm & blues] is so rich with great singers and performers. I‘m just trying to tap into that vein and try to make music that is about love and romance and heartbreak - all those great things that will fuel songs long after we‘re here.”

Tickets for James Hunter are $47 and $42, plus HST and box office fees.  The Grand Theatre Box Office is open Monday through Saturday, noon - 6pm and can be reached by calling (613) 530-2050 or grandtheatre2 [at]

The Grand Theatre would like to acknowledge its 2011-2012 Grand Theatre Presents Season Partners. The Four Points Sheraton Kingston is the Official Hospitality Underwriter, Kingston Life is the Official Print Media Sponsor and CKWS is the Official Television Sponsor. The Blues Series Media Partner is FM 96 and Program Supporters are Canada Council for the Arts, Ontario Arts Council, City of Kingston, Canadian Heritage and the Province of Ontario.

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For further information please contact our Communications Department for the Grand Theatre, at (613) 546-4291 ext. 1377 or grandtheatremedia [at]

For additional information: Stephanie Earp
grandtheatremedia [at]