“Hunter seems to have an uncanny instinct for judging just when to stop or start a harmony, when to bring out an inner voice, when to drop it, and when…

“Hunter seems to have an uncanny instinct for judging just when to stop or start a harmony, when to bring out an inner voice, when to drop it, and when to change texture completely. . . One cannot have this kind of control without technique, and Hunter has it with gallons to spare . . . the effect is electrifying.”
Peter Muir, The Free-Reed Journal (a publication of the Center for the Study of Free-Reed Instruments, the Graduate Center, City University of New York)

“Connecticut new wave harmonicat Richard Hunter blows surreal harmonica riffs. Like Toots Thielemans, Hunter makes his instrument bend past the typical prairie lullaby.”
A.D. Amorosi, The Philadelphia Citypaper
“The harmonica is often called a ‘pocket orchestra.’ The name makes a lot of sense when you listen to the work of Richard Hunter. With the release of his second CD, The Second Act of Free Being, Hunter cements himself as one of the most talented and versatile bandleaders, soloists, and rhythm sections of any ‘pocket orchestra’ working today While it is easy to get caught up in Hunter’s instrumental pyrotechnics, his album equally highlights his considerable gifts as a comploser. He has the ability to transport and to evoke powerful and lasting images. . . Hunter’s versatility gives him the chance to reach audiences in the jazz, folk, and even classical worlds.”
John Kelly, The Stamford Advocate
“Richard Hunter brings to the fore the harmonica as an instrument of substance, rather than one of mere accompaniment. His structured compositions and inspired improvisations are guaranteed to spark in audiences a new respect and appreciation for the harmonica.”
Terri Lagerstedt, The Fairfield County Weekly
“Harmonica Player Richard Hunter is known mostly for his successful instructional book, Jazz Harp, which was published in 1980. Although he has played on numerous recording sessions over the years, The Act of Being Free in One Act is, surprisingly, his first album. Hunters plays everything solo with no overdubs and succeeds in forging a new style of repertoire for the instrument. He has a very precise style of playing which he exploits on compositions that range from lyrical and classical in style to a few that wouldn’t be too out of place at a hoedown. Half of the material consists of cover tunes that include a mournful “When Johnny Comes Marching Home.” “Old Man River” is played in the perennial front porch style, although the front porch in this case could be attached to Carnegie Hall. This is one of the most innovative harmonica players to record since Alain Lamontagne (from Quebec) in the 70s.”
PEC, Dirty Linen
“Richard Hunter stands alone and acoustically delivers to an audience of careful listeners his vision of harmonica music — one that strives to transcend the harmonica community and lift the general public’s awareness of what this small instrument is capable of doing. He does an admirable job. . .Legato passages are smooth and fluid, staccato passages leap and dance, sustained notes are pure and full (with a minimum of vibrato, a rare occurrence that allows the beauty of the vibrating reed to shine), and the full range of dynamics are explored — from the quietest whisper to the most percussive rattle.”
Larry Eisenberg, Harmonica Information Press
“Hunter seems to be familiar with every effect the harmonica can create. And with his debut CD, The Act of Being Free in One Act,
he has a chance to put them to good use. . “Peppermint Life” and “Golden Mel” have real joy in them, pulsing faster and faster, only to slow suddenly with a bluesy riff, or an accented bending of a note. . . Hunter can swing. Just try to resist toe-tapping to his own “Big 17” or his arrangement of Ben Tucker’s
“Comin Home Baby”. . . He even manages to convince the listener — without overdubs — that he has a rhythm section backing him up. This is no mean feat; Hunter shows us his and the harmonica’s chops, and in the process begins clearing a place for the jazz harp, solo.”
Daniel Delgado, Harvard Magazine
“It takes only a few seconds of listening to Peppermint Life, the opening track of Richard Hunter’s first full-length solo recording, to realize that this is not harmonica as you have ever heard it before . . . The Act of Being Free in One Act is a solo instrumental tour de force complete with enough virtuosic firepower not only to attract a listener’s interest but to keep it.”
John Kelly, The Stamford Advocate
“On his first disc, Hunter displays his fluid style, warm tone and virtuoso playing with several thrilling solo performances . . . The quality of the recording is terrific and presents an ‘acoustic’ harmonica sound with striking clarity . . . His tone is achingly beautiful. You need not be a harmonica nut to enjoy this record, but you may become one listening to it.”
Mark Earley, Sing Out!
“One listening is enough to convince you that you are within earshot of a master musician . . . If you want to check out the current state of the harp, check out this CD.”
Phil Lloyd, American Harmonica Newsletter
“If you’re into the sound and extended capabilities of the harmonica, this is a place to head.” (a Catfish Pick!)
Leland Rucker (Catfish Whitey), Blues Access
“Copies of this disc should bear one of two warning labels: For those who carry their expectations in tight sets and rigid compartments, the admonishment should read: ‘CAUTION — NOT FOR THE FAINT OF IMAGINATION’. For those inclined to freely follow flights of fancy, this counsel is apropos: ‘EXTREMELY ENGAGING! BUDGET TIME ACCORDINGLY!’ Whatever your bent, Hunter’s talent and intelligence are undeniable; and this disc is the remarkable expression of both.”
Mark N. O’Brien, NY CD Blues
“The music expresses emotions and moods you never hear the harp express. At times the music has the sensitivity and caring of a violin. Other times it’s as freewheeling and bluesy as . . . a harmonica! The tone is beautiful. It seems effortless.”
Jon Gindick, author, Harmonica Americana
“A harmonica-totin’ guy who’s going to knock your socks off.”
Shannon Hicks, The Newtown Bee

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