Iconic. How else do you describe Ian Hunter? An artist who will soon turn 78 years young, Hunter is still creating new relevant albums as he tours behind Fingers Crossed released this past September. Growing up in the industrial Midwest, my exposure to music covered several genres from listening to what was then termed progressive radio. That resulted into a diverse record collection which included a heavy dose of Hunter’s songbook. Although my current preference tends to have a little banjo, fiddle, or pedal steel, there are times when you have to go back to the well. From his days with Mott The Hoople and his partnership with the late great Mick Ronson, the glam rocker’s signature sunglasses, long curly hair, and unmistakable voice is about as Hall Of Fame worthy as it gets.
A very packed house at the Music Box Supper Club was treated to Hunter and his Rant Band consisting of Mark Bosch (guitar), James Maestro (guitar), Dennis DiBrizzi (keyboards), Paul Page (bass), and Steve Holley (drums). I had to smile when Hunter emerged wearing a maroon and navy rugby shirt that looked like something I owned in another lifetime. Playing acoustic guitar and later piano, Hunter performed “That’s When The Trouble Starts”, Bow Street Runners”, Morpheus”, “Dandy”, “Ghosts”, and the beautiful title track ballad from Fingers Crossed. There were several hits mixed into the twenty-one song set including “Once Bitten, Twice Shy”, “Fatally Flawed”, “The Truth, The Whole Truth, Nuthin’ But The Truth”, “Just Another Night”, “All American Alien Boy”, “All The Way From Memphis”, and “When I’m President”. A deep track jam on “Bastard” followed by “Sweet Jane” closed out the main portion of the show. After an extended break, Hunter returned for the encore opener (Give Me Back My) Wings”. Though, Hunter seems to let his music do the talking than spin stories from the stage, he did mention his appreciation to the audience and the glory days of FM radio before launching into “Cleveland Rocks”. Another nice track off the new album titled “Long Time” was followed by “Life”, “All The Young Dudes”, and “Goodnight Irene” as the crowed left satisfied and happy. If it’s been a long time or never seen Ian Hunter, he is truly worth revisiting or putting on your bucket list to see in concert.
Opening the show was Marti Jones performing solo without her partner in crime Don Dixon. Her seven song set opened with my absolute favorite “Follow You All Over The World” and included “(If I Could) Walk Away”, “Tourist Town”, “Any Kind of Lie”, “These Arms of Mine”, “So Lonesome I Could Fly”, and the heart stopping “Always”. You’ll be able to catch Marti and Don this summer opening for Dave Mason on an extended summer tour.