The Bass Geek - Words about Music, Circuitry, and New Orleans
The Bass Geek

Charlie Hunter Trio Review, 9-29-07

This weekend was a tough choice for shows. I hated to miss Peelander-Z at the Mel, but it'd been awhile since I'd seen Charlie Hunter, and the Jazz Kitchen is a great venue to see him at.

"But Ryan, he doesn't have a bassist! And you HATE bands that don't have bassists! I've heard what you've said about the White Stripes!"

Nameless Quoted Internet Devil's Advocate, you are correct. Charlie Hunter earns a pass, though. At a guitar workshop lo those many years ago at an Indianapolis studio, he was asked that, if forced to split his trademark guitar/bass style (he plays both on a specially constructed Novak guitar), which instrument he would choose? He replied bass, because it grooves more. He's declared his loyalties, and thus should be respected.

He's traded in the 8-string for a 7-string now, and he's travelling with an organ, so that didn't bode well for the low end. That boding was wrong - he still held down the bass lines and added the chords as necessary. The organ fulfilled more of a melody/pad function, and Hunter kept the groove going. He's travelled away from his organ-like sound to a more precise, agressive guitar tone, but it's still his trademark music that pleased the audience. Hunter may have switched band members and labels multiple times, but he hasn't lost a step. Excellent show, and I highly recommend it.

Just remember, though - if you're going to come through without a bassist, you'd better be as good as he is. I'm watching you.