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Van Hunt finds a new kind of soul

for Journal Register Newspapers

» See more SOUND CHECK

Van Hunt knows he could ask his manager, Randy Jackson, for a night of his music on "American Idol." But, he adds, that doesn't mean Jackson can say yes.

"Well, I'm sure if the executives over there would agree, he'd get it done," Hunt, 42, says with a laugh. So is he holding his breath? "Nah -- I can't afford to do that."

Until then, the R&B/rock alchemist is forging ahead with a career he began during the late 90s, writing for Dionne Farris, Rahsaan Patterson, Cree Summer and others. He's released three studio albums of his own, with a live set just out, and Hunt has made the transition from a major label to independent status.

"When I first started, I actually liked the major label system," he says. "That was back when you had artist development and financing. All of that made sense to me as something that would help the artist.

"But now you're operating without any of that. So being (independent) works better for me than it might for anther artist...'cause I'm an older artist. I understand what it is I want. It's a good time for me to get to know my audience better."

And in that process, Hunt says, he learned the "Live at the Troubadour 2011" album, recorded during October in West Hollywood, Calif., would definitely pique those fans' interest.

"When we were out on the last tour, I met up with Randy in New York and he saw the show and was like, 'Man, that was incredible! You have got to record this!' " Hunt recalls. "So we took the last show we did at the Troubadour and recorded it, and it was a blast. It's my first attempt at trying to capture what I do live, so hopefully people will hear it and get into what we do."

Van Hunt and Vintage Trouble perform Thursday, March 22 at the Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale. Doors open at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15. Call 248-544-3030 or visit www.themagicbag.com.

Web Site: www.themagicbag.com

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