Howlin' Wilf & The Vee-Jays: Ya Ya
It seems as through everyone is singing the praises of newly discovered sensation James Hunter. The comparisons to greats such as Sam Cooke and James Brown are just - although he is no imitator. Hunter is blessed with a wonderfully natural vocal which shines when he performs his soulful Rhythm & Blues. His 2006 album "People Gonna Talk" was his U.S. breakthrough, but the James Hunter story actually begins some twenty years earlier.
In 1986 Hunter formed his first rhythm & blues band The Vee-Jays, giving himself the pseudonym Howlin' Wilf. They were soon the hippest cats in Camden Town - popular enough to give up their day jobs and go pro. Within a year, Howlin' Wilf & Vee-Jays has cut their first album, the Boz Boorer produced Cry Wilf, and had appeared on national TV courtesy of legendary music-show The Tube. As the 1980s progressed, Wilf and the band issued a steady stream of vinyl, skipping from label to label including Waterfront and Unamerican Activities. Their popularity as a live act saw them tour throughout Europe and into the USA. At the end of 1989, the band split. Platinum blonde guitarist Dot was seen playing in Shout Sister Shout, whilst Wilf performed under variations of the name including Howlin' Wild & His Band, James Hunter & The Jokers and The James Hunter Trio, before finally settling simply as James Hunter.
If you have discovered James Hunter recently, this may be your first encounter with his work as Howlin' Wilf - a more stripped-down affair without the double-sex attack of his current outfit. However, those wonderful vocals, razor-sharp rockin' blues guitar licks and fabulous songs were there in abundance. The Veejays could play Rock 'n' Roll just as well as they could play Rhythm & Soul. The performance on this DVD shows that Hunter is no overnight success - he has been a great singer, songwriter and musician for over twenty years and is now gaining the recognition that he deserves.
- Got A Thing For You
- Got My Eyes On You
- Ya Ya
- I Know You Don't Love Me
- 21 Days In Jail
- Mellow Down Easy
- God Bless The Child
- Baby Please Don't Go