John Hunt Four O'Clock Afternoon Blues and Swing review The Jazz Bar (Venue 57) Edinburgh Festival Fringe Friday 12th August

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John Hunt Four O' Clock Afternoon Blues and Swing at The Jazz Bar (Venue 57) is just what is promised on the flyers.  With some very unusual guitars, but sounds familiar to anyone who likes blues, this was pretty much just a perfect hour’s break from the familiar rainy Scottish weather outside.


John Hunt is a very good guitarist and an even better slide guitar player and most reviews I have read of him give credit to that.  The technical side of the guitar playing is, however, not what interests me most about his music, but the honesty of what he is writing about.  The blues may be a recognised sound, but it is a sound that can be very regional in its variants, but the one thing that is universal about the blues is the stories and emotions behind the songs.  The great blues pioneers wrote about events and people around them, they are often a historical record of a performer’s life, and John Hunt does this with his music.  His is not (as so often is) someone imagining that they are an American bluesman and writing about things they have never experienced, but a musician born in London writing about his life and environment, and that brings out the honesty that should always be behind the blues.


With Songs like “White Rolls Royce”, “Haunting You” and “Three Days” we get the blues colliding with Ian Dury and the result is refreshingly unique.  Of course though, there is also homage to great blues innovators like Willie Dixon in the set.


John played a few swing numbers too here and although the songs “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” and “It Was a Very Good Year” are forever associated with the Frank Sinatra recordings of them, it was a pleasure to hear them performed with such a musical twist to them

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John Hunt is also by the way a very good artist, and the walls of The Jazz Bar have some of his work on display too.  For more information on his music and art visit
http://www.johnhunt.org

Review by Tom King

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