b. James Hunter, Essex, England. As a youngster Howlin’ Wilf was interested in 50s rock ‘n’ roll, leading to a later appreciation of Chicago blues, particularly the music of Little Walter, and he received his first electric guitar in 1977, when he was around 15 years old. His first band, the DMFs, played at Colchester Labour Club in 1983. He initially recorded with a rockabilly band for a compilation issued by Lost Moment Records in 1984. Two years later he moved to London, where he was touted as one of England’s best young blues singers, and with his band the Vee-Jays he quickly established himself as one of the mainstays of the capital’s blues scene. A video, Live Wilf, was made available by Raucous Records. In 1989 he disbanded the Vee-Jays and took his music in more of an R&B direction. James Hunter’s scattered recordings bear witness to the fact that he is regarded primarily as a live entertainer.
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