Call for Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past

cover art

Charlie Hunter

Baboon Strength

(Spire Artist; US: 8 Sep 2008)

Guitarist Charlie Hunter is still exploring new sounds and styles, and this one isn’t all that different from that idea or mindset. While sometimes he is a hit-and-miss artist, Hunter makes more connections on this record, especially on the groovy album starter “Athens”, which is laidback and funky. From there, “Astronaut Love Triangle” ups the funk, resembling a Prince out-take in some respects. And Hunter shines on this ditty, fleshing it out over nearly five fine minutes. Mixing jazz, soul, pop and rock, a tune like “Difford-Tilbrook” does bring Squeeze to mind but doesn’t really squeeze the listener much. One of the stranger pieces comes during “A Song for Karen Carpenter”, which is a slow burner of sorts, relying on a soulful bass line to set the tone for the sensual, romantic mood that evolves. However, the spacey, retro “Munsters”-ish title track leaves a lot to be desired. The highlight? Most likely “Fine Corinthian Leather” which glides effortlessly but a close second is the closing “AbadabA”.


Originally from Cape Breton, MacNeil is currently writing for the Toronto Sun as well as other publications, including All Music Guide,,, Country Standard Time, Skope Magazine, Chart Magazine, Glide, Ft. Myers Magazine and Celtic Heritage. A graduate of the University of King's College, MacNeil currently resides in Toronto. He has interviewed hundreds of acts ranging from Metallica and AC/DC to Daniel Lanois and Smokey Robinson. MacNeil (modestly referred to as King J to friends), a diehard Philadelphia Flyers fan, has seen the Rolling Stones in a club setting, thereby knowing he will rest in peace at some point down the road. Oh, and he writes for

Related Articles
By Tyler Wilcox
6 Apr 2009
The Boulder Theater’s management put out seats for the audience, but they shouldn’t have bothered. Charlie Hunter and his band were playing dance music, plain and simple.
6 Dec 2007
Another scruffy-cool groove workout from the prolific guitarist. How many have there been now?
24 Sep 2001
'Songs from the Analog Playground' may horrify some in the jazz world and will undoubtedly be deemed too far out for Urban radio. What greater recommendation than that do you need?"
Now on PopMatters
PM Picks

© 1999-2015 All rights reserved.™ and PopMatters™ are trademarks
of PopMatters Media, Inc.

PopMatters is wholly independently owned and operated.