van hunt in the cut

Check it. A couple of people had reviews and opinions about Van Hunt. Since he’s in our town and had also done quite a bit of session work, I copped the album and loved it. Of course, me doing a review of Van Hunt would be a duplicitous effort, since there had already been reviews of it that I agreed with on all fronts. However, since some of the live performing reviews were a bit different, I was more than curious to see if the live performances were any different from the CD itself. I expected this to be a very good live performance – I wasn’t expecting vocal prowess or choirs or orchestras – just some good old fashion funk, soul and rock.

That’s exactly what I got.

While walking around the second floor of Smith’s Olde Bar, I saw Van Hunt and introduced myself. Since I don’t really get to meet very many performers, I thought that I would give the album props, let him know that the reason I’m there is for him and only him, and as soon as he was done, we would jet. After chuckles from the entourage, he let me know that he would be the second performer on stage. I mentioned that I had my camera, that I would be taking pictures, shook hands and left.
Ten minutes later, after telling Prime this story (and dubbed “Van Hunt Groupie” for the rest of the night), Van Hunt’s brother stops by and gives me a handshake – and email addresses for sending them photos of the band’s performance to them. I am by no means a photographer, so I was in for a challenge. With J., Wood, and Prime there, we found our place amongst the crowd and settled in.
After the first session with Candy From Strangers, I made my way to the front, managing to take some pretty good photos.

The concert was what I expected it to be – a concert that allowed the people to jam and appreciate the artist and his vision. I would have loved to have heard Out of The Sky, since his guitarist and keyboardists provided very good background vocals- and had a lot of funk to kick out to us- but the cuts performed were more than ample. Showing us he can kick the ballistics with Hello Goodbye, Down Here In Hell, and Seconds of Pleasure, he also graced us with Highlights, Precious, Hold My Hand, Anything and Dust. Mid-set, he spiced up the wayback machine with Got To Get You Into My Life, the Earth Wind and Fire cut sans the horns, and an all-too-short rendition of The Ohio Players Sweet Sticky Thing.

For sure, if you’re expecting people with vocal prowess, choreographed moves, or a backing choir, you’ll be dissapointed. For down-home grooves, savvy band members, and feel-good vibes, check him out. You should already have the CD. Don’t sleep.

20 comments on “van hunt in the cut

  1. Cool pics! I was disappointed Van Hunt didn’t peform “Out of The Sky”, also. That’s a supreme cut. But “Hello, Goodbye” was particularly tight. I think I’d prefer “Dust” to be more stripped down though.
    Overall, despite less-than-perfect sound conditions, Van Hunt definitely held his own onstage and converted a few doubters in the crowd who were awaiting the main act.
    I give him props for that. Can’t wait to see him as a headliner when he can tailor the show exactly to his tastes.

  2. Enigma says:

    good lookin’ out. i’m on his site now listening. thanks

  3. Enigma says:

    something in his voice reminds me of terence trent d’arby (maitraya w/e his new name is)

  4. ~SunRay~ says:

    Nice camera work! I must now make another cd run.

  5. girlwonder says:

    i’m glad you had a good time – it looks like fun. i’m gonna listen to it a few more times just to make sure i’m not missing something 🙂

  6. Rocka says:

    Ok, everybody talking about this Van Hunt makes me wanna get the album based on curiosity…
    I hope I am not wastin my money…

  7. Tai says:

    you have convinced me to go and purchase the CD…

  8. deshigrrrl says:

    i shouldn’t even say this, but when i first read the title of your blog, i thought it read “van hunt in the cunt“…
    good lord.. i’m sorry.. i don’t know where my head’s at these days..
    anyway, i’ll have to check him out.. thanks for the review..

  9. ej says:

    Deshi- I’m completely and utterly lauging myself to death at work after reading that comment. you’re alright with me!

  10. Constance says:

    I have seen Van hunt in concert twice now.He will be at Music Midtown and I suggest that folks get to see him.His musicianship is great. He can sing. His music takes you places,reminds you of people,places and other times.He jams,period.I am impressed. There are no bad cuts on this debut album.I was at Smith’s Olde bar,I came up front and took a few photos myself–maybe I was standing next to you.

  11. The Child of Omelas says:

    Me, a groupie? (Ok, maybe just a bit.) I have been googling the hell out of this guy since I first heard his music. He has this quiet smoldering sexiness about him, and the fact that he is so extremely talented only adds to his allure. I got his cd as a birthday gift a couple of weeks ago and it’s been in heavy rotation ever since, especially the tracks “Down Here in Hell” and “Hold my Hand”… I would love to see him perform live. When is he going to show Boston some love?

  12. Ivy Alston says:

    Van Hunt’s cd is totally what is needed. Every song evokes so much emotion…this musician is going to have me forgetting that I’m at work as I listen to each mellow tune. May we be blessed with more and more and more of Van Hunt.

  13. soulfreaky says:

    I just saw Van last night in NYC. He was really excellent….had the Curtis Mayfield vibe going big-time. He’s really great live…his band is tight and Van just smokes. He’s also a really nice guy as well. I had an opportunity to speak with him after the show…what a talent. I think he’s going to do some great things. See him if you have the chance.

  14. amethyst says:

    Hmm… I just saw Van Hunt on Conan O’Brien (Apr. 22) and his voice reminded me of Donny Hathaway.
    Definitely someone to look out for.
    (I’m in Seattle)

  15. Cynthia says:

    Van Hunt is a passionate, talented and outstanding performer. I purchased his self-titled album from iTunes and listened to it today while walking outside in the beautiful east coast spring weather. WOW! I had only heard DUST on WXPN and had been trying to get it from iTunes for a couple of months when FINALLY the album appeared and I decided to go for the gusto and buy the whole thing. Glad I did. EVERY song is a delicious treat for the ears.

  16. yatta says:

    Soul, rock & funk!…Van Hunt expresses it all in his debut album. What I would give to see him perform. Thanks for the word on his performance, it’ll make me enjoy his music even more now that I know his performance matches. I hear so much of the past in his songs, it takes me back to when music was as simple as time. “Hold my Hand” is the “get my day started” track, then I just let the rest flow into my mind. Definitely a fan, groupie, & lover…Finally, a CD for every mood!!!

  17. Wisdom says:

    I was having a hard time trying to figure out what I could say in order to describe Van Hunt’s Album and all I could come up with was DAMN that sure feels good!!. what a treat. I bought it a week ago and I have not played anything since. He has me in the sky and I can’t fall out. If you don’t have it GET IT NOW! Peace


    Van Hunt – what can I say? He�s dripping with funk and soul. I wasn�t disappointed. I loved every inch of his performance. He was sexy and definitely huggable, but them snug azz pants he was wearing had to…

  19. cvt says:

    this music….whoo! I’m in heaven when Van is on the set. This album is pure genuis.

  20. Igho says:

    Van Hunt’s voice reminds me of Kenny Lattimore, but in a different way. I also dig the fact that he’s a guitar player too and obviously plays his own stuff. This guy is my hero.

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