Currently available from Brambus Records:
JIM HUNTER ist seit bald zwei Jahrzehnten ein treuer Freund des Hauses Brambus und mit seinen drei bisherigen CDs hat er feine Produktion bei uns veröffentlicht. Für das neue Album, welches erstmals auch seine Live-Begleiter JIM MICHIE und CHRIS PRITCHARD stärker in den Vordergrund bringt, hat er sich sehr viel Zeit gelassen. Entstanden ist ein wunderschönes Werk, in welchem zum einen die Virtuosität der drei Gitarristen zum Ausdruck kommt, zum anderen die ausserordentliche stimmliche Harmonie der drei Schotten erinnernd an grosse amerikanische Vorbilder wie Crosby, Stills & Nash.
Musikalisch liegt das Album auch im Spannungsfeld Amerika-Schottland und vereint das Beste der beiden Welten in einer feinen Mischung aus Songs, die nicht nur von Jim Hunter geschrieben wurden, sondern auch von Michie und Pritchard Eigenkompositionen mit dabei sind. Die drei Leute aus dem schottischen Lochailort sind zu einer feinen Einheit gereift, überzeugen mit Frische und Spielfreude live notabene im November auf Tournee im deutschsprachigen Raum und mit perfekten Einspielungen auf diesem neuen Album.
JIM HUNTER is since nearly two decades a true friend and recording artist of the brambus label and did three CDs for us so far! For his new work he did spend a lot of time and the productions was well worthy. For the first time, the new album gives more space to his sidemen Jim Michie and Chris Pritchard, long time friends of their small hometown Lochailort in the Scottish Highlands and long travelling friends and side artists on countless concerts throughout Europe. Together they recorded a timeless masterpiece of intercontinental influences. The CD demonstrates the virtuosity of the three guitar players and the excellent harmony of their three voices. Rare and extraordinary as some of their American heroes like Crosby, Stills & Nash or the Grateful Dead. The music of the new
album is in the wide angle of America and Scotland and unites the best of both worlds in self penned songs, which are not only written by Jim Hunter, but also feature some originals of his friends! The three friends from the highlands have found their uniqueness during many concerts full of freshness and pleasure of playing. Take your time to discover it, it is well worthy!
Old Dogs For The Hard Road
Jim Hunter ist Schottlands Top Singer/Songwriter, dazu ein begnadeter Gitarrist und Slidegitarrist. Er passt nicht nahtlos ins Kostüm des schottischen Folkbarden, vielmehr hat er sich eine musikalische Brücke zu den amerikanischen Vorbildern gemacht, etwa zu Lowell George (von "Little Feat") oder Tony Joe White und diese Brücke spannt sich über Irland hinweg, so dass da und dort auch Impulse eines Chris Rea mitgehört werden könnten. Dies wenn man Vergleiche möchte, denn ansonsten ist Jim Hunter längst ein eigenständiger Musiker.
Zur Brambus-Familie ist er 1995 mit dem Album "The Crack O'Noon Club" gestossen und ihr seither treu geblieben. Es gab zuvor bereits Tonträger auf dem schottischen Temple-Label, die ebenfalls durchaus gut waren. Einige seiner feinsten frühen Songs sind denn auch auf dem Live-artigen Album "Sparks in Flight" nochmals aufgelegt worden, Klassiker des Meisters.
Jetzt legt Jim Hunter feinstens mit einem neuen, weitgehend akustischen Album nach: "Old Dogs For The Hard Road" ist ein neuer, feiner Meilenstein, der sowohl seine Folkwurzeln festigt wie sein Feingefühl für gute Gitarrenarbeit unterstreicht. Eingespielt wurde das Album in Kleinbesetzung mit seinem aktuellen Tourneebegleiter Brian McAlpine, einem Multiinstrumentalisten, der hier Piano, Keyboards, Akkordeon, Bass und Stimme beisteuerte und auch auf der anstehenden Tournee mit dabei sein wird. Dazu Jim Michie (Gitarre, Gesang) und Nick Turner (Bass, Gitarre). Schlicht und direkt wurde ein feines Album eingespielt, welches die bisherigen Jim Hunter Fans begeistern wird und etliche neue Anhänger und Freunde finden sollte.
Jim Hunter is one of the best Singer/songwriters from Scotland, an outstanding guitar and slide-guitar-master. He does not really fit in the position of a Scottish folksinger, much more he creates musical bridges between his American heroes like Lowell George (Little Feat) or Tony Joe White and his home country, crossing over Ireland, what brings influences of the kind like Chris Rea. This all if you like to compare and to find matching styles, but Jim Hunter is unique in his way and that since long!
He joined the brambus-music-family in 1995 with his album The Crack ONoon Club and stayed since then. There have been more release before this, excellent too, on the Scottish Temple label. Some of those earlier songs have been gathered in live-manner on the CD Sparks In Flight, which has been released in 1999.
Now Jim Hunter presents his newest and finest, mostly acoustic masterpiece Old Dogs For The Hard Road, which covers his folky roots as well as his excellent guitar work. And it has been recorded with only a handful of artists on the side, including multi-instrumentalist Brian MacAlpine (piano, keyboards, accordion, bass and vocals), who currently plays on Jim Hunters side while on tour. Additional arrangements include Jim Michie (guitar, vocals) and Nick Turner (bass, guitar). The new album has been recorded pure, simple and direct, very honest and with the result of an excellent and fine next step. All new songs and mostly self penned with a few tribute to American songwriters. This cd will satisfy all his long time fans and certainly bring a lot of new ones too!
Sparks in Flight
The Crack o'Noon Club
Living alone on a remote Scottish island, Jim Hunter leaps out of bed, inspired to record a tune. It's 3am, he's naked and he starts beating out a rhythm on an empty whisky crate. recording onto the portable studio that was to serve him so well in his early recording years, Meanwhile the local deer-stalker is out and about checking for poachers. Seeing the light on in Hunter's cottage and expecting a session to be in full swing, he peers in through the window....
After this character forming experience, Jim Hunter released his first album 'BURNT OUT IN THE SNOW' featuring The Thunderbird Band. Nowadays Jim Hunter has honed his songwriting skills to new heights (and more clothes) - after supporting "Runrig" through their winter tour of 94 he has spent the Spring of '95 recording his latest work 'Crack O'Noon Club" at Watercolour Studios in Ballachullsh Still living in the Highlands today with it's complex and active musical scene, Jim is well known as a solo performer, as a teacher, and as a session musician. He has supported The Waterboys, The Rankin Family from Canada, and Wolfstone on their Scottish tours and has appeared at many festivals alongside the cream of Scottish and Irish musicians. His music is well known and much In demand in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria where he regularly tours solo."
I caught up with Jim at his home in Glenuig to ask him a few questions about his background in music as well as about the album "The Crack O' Noon Club" which is being released this week.
Where were you brought up?
"Edinburgh - various parts of Edinburgh 'til I was 18 then I moved up to Glenuig I came up on holiday and then got a job in Glenuig inn and never quite moved away. That was in the mid-70's. When did you start playing guitar? When I was 12. I had played the pipes from the age of 7 up until I was about 12 year old and when I went to the Secondary school I had to join the pipe band. Every Friday I had to get on the bus crossed in full pipe band uniform and for a 12 year old boy getting on the top deck of an Edinburgh bus in full piper regalia - hairy Sporran and spats - and there was a girl's school who also got on the bus....it was ail too much so I took up the guitar. I was self-taught. I didn't know anyone else who played the guitar and I've still never had a guitar lesson yet. I've given plenty of them but.... it would have been a lot quicker if somebody had shown me what to do. It did allow me to develop my own style but it probably took me a lot longer than if somebody had shown me. It was the Burt Weedon guitar book · "Play in a Day'' - which is a complete contradiction in terms. The first five pages were how to hold the guitar!"
What were your musical influences?
"At that point bands like 'Little Feet' - music from the southern states of America - Lynard Skynard Capricorn records but I listened to loads and gads of things - Joni Mitchell - lots of women singers and singer/songwriters of that time like Linda Ronstatt. When I moved up here I got a crash course in traditional music. At that time Punk was quite big - but not up here. Things like Dudanan Irish music was really coming to the fore. I arrived up here with an electric guitar and ended up buying a Martin, which I've still got and I started to play acoustic. So that's when I really started hearing traditional music Jim Michie was playing traditional guitar up here but it was mainly pipes and fiddle."
When did you start writing music?
"I had seen in a few bands and had written a couple of things ... but I really started writing when I went to live on Shona Beag for two years. I d been playing with a couple of other guys and I'd just been the harmony singer. One went to Switzerland and never came back and Jim Michie went away and that's when I staffed singing melody rather than harmony. Then I started wiring. I had a small porta-studio on the island and the first album came out of that. So its quite later in life that I started writing - 26 or 27. It's hard work. People seem to think you sit and an idea plops down on top of you - like Rabbie Burns. You might get some lyrics or you get a chorus, or you get a tune and you put it all together. Very occasionally you get a song that falls into your lap but that's a bonus. Theres a lot of editing, from the first draft of a song to the finished article, and it can change quite a lot. It's just putting the hours in - the same as if you were writing a book or painting a picture."
You spend a lot of time teaching, is that something you feel is important?
"Yes. The whole Feisan movement. I seem to be doing more and more in the way of teaching which is good because you've now got teenagers coming through who're well versed, not only in one instrument, the guitar, but can play three or four instruments through the Feis. The Feis is one of the best things that ever happened in the Highlands. Before there was only private tuition in certain instruments. Obviously Angus Grant kept the fiddle alive in this area and the pipers, but apart from that....Theres a marvelous course at Sabhal Mor 0staig for teenagers to learn how to teach. Its taken by Dougie Pincock and Ishbelle MacAskill and they teach kids how to teach. So that will mean a new generation of tutors coming through. It's in place, the feis. It's here to stay.""...a major new force to be reckoned with. -honest roots music for all listeners!" -- David Deverson, Detour Magazine