Friday, February 08, 2008

John Hammond - a review

John Hammond was born in 1942 and has been playing the blues for a living since the early 60s. Over the years, he's developed a very personal approach to the music, which he plays with heart and intensity. Between tunes at Hugh's Room tonight, Hammond told a few stories about some of his experiences starting out as a young bluesman. He told one about being in a dangerous bar in Chicago called Silvios, to see Sonny Boy Williamson. He saw the guitarist and the piano-man and the drummer, and he heard Sonny Boy sing and play harmonica. Hammond was with his friend Michael Bloomfield, who told him to follow the microphone chord. He did and saw Sonny Boy at a table with 3 women and a bottle, playing the set from the table...

Hammond gave a warm, rich performance tonight. I've seen him play a few times over the years and now in his mid-60s, he's better than ever.

Opening the show as Paul James, who has performed with Hammond several times over a span of many years. They even made an album together in 1988, Nobody But You. We've been to a lot of Paul James shows over the years. He even played at our wedding in 2001, with his band that included the late great painter and bass player, Brian Kipping.

Mr. Hammond is back at Hugh's Room Saturday night. If you can get tickets, go.

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