Funk fanatics were pleased as punch with Van Hunt’s album On The Jungle Floor that showcased his funky prowess along with his other more off-kilter talents. OTJF was a follow up to his hit debut album Van Hunt that put him on the map with the songs Down Here In Hell (With You) and Dust.
Since then, Van has struggled to gain any notoriety that would stick and had one mishap after another starting with the forced move to Blue Note which acquired his contract from Capitol and kept his full length masterpiece album Popular Machine from ever seeing the light of day even though it managed to find a way onto the streets in bootleg form (and the “unreleased” EP is still available here for some reason). But he persisted on to critical acclaim playing alongside Dave Matthews, The Roots, John Legend and many others.
His next album was a collection of song leftovers and lost gems from previous sessions entitled Use In Case Of Emergency which he released on his own label and via BandCamp at http://vanhunt.bandcamp.com. But during his tough travels, he still managed to get noticed in the form of a Grammy win when he collaborated with John Legend, Nikka Costa and Joss Stone on the Sly Stone cover of Family Affair. And as all fans of Van Hunt know (us included), his time is long overdue.
Now Van Hunt has finally announced a new album entitled what were you hoping for? that will be released on on his own label on Sept. 27, 2011. Along with the release will be a small tour that will surely see him covering both the West and East Coast as he typically tours those regions like NYC, Atlanta and various locations in California.
As a taste test, he’s released a free download of one of the tracks called June which can be downloaded from his website at http://www.vanhunt.com. His Facebook page located at http://www.facebook.com/vanhunt has a “Win Stuff” area where you can enter to win a signed copy and phone call from Van himself. Not to mention a Twitter page at http://twitter.com/#!/vanhunt where you can view his daily musings.
Meanwhile, we look forward to what the new album will bring and possibly get a interview with him for some more insight into what we can expect. We have yet to fully understand why he hasn’t been embraced as a true musical genius yet, because even his scraps are far better than the Top 40 drivel on the radio today. We can only hope that the new album corrects some wrongs and gets people to stand up and take notice. For funk fans, this album will most likely be slimmed down from OTJF, but Van can’t help but insert funk elements into his playing style, so we’re sure we’ll enjoy the release once it hits the streets.