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John Hammond ( John Paul Hammond )




John Hammond ( John Paul Hammond ) - Push Comes To Shove - 2007 - Back Porch

A brilliant and prolific artist, John Hammond’s reputation can only improve with a release this good. Compared to earlier albums (Hammond’s recording career goes back over 40 years), Push Comes To Shove has a stronger emphasis on originals, and there are certainly some good ones here. The title track is a stop time stormer with lots of heavy-handed guitar. So too is “If You Want To Rock & Roll,” with its Stevie Ray Vaughn/Fabulous Thunderbirds shadings. “Butter” is in the fast lane, too, flaunting a funky Lowell Fulson “Tramp” arrangement. Hammond breaks out the steel-bodied National and his slide on the gutbucket blues “You Know That’s Cold,” which features some really low down lyrics (“You know that’s cold / when your woman says you’re too damn old!” Are those not the middle age blues, Daddy-O?). Hammond covered Freddy King’s “Tore Down” back in the 1960s, but with producer G. Love in tow, he gets a very hip contemporary urban blues sound. His treatment of Jr. Wells’ “Come On In This House” is also true, as his recycling of Lightnin’ Slim’s spirited “Mean Ol’ Lonesome Train.” There’s a lot to like here if the blues is your thing. John Hammond has been releasing records for over 40 years. He's stayed stubbornly true to his vision of the blues for the entire run. Some of those recordings have, understandably, been better than others, but as a live performer — whether playing in a roadhouse or on a festival stage — he's burned the house down. Unfortunately for him, that fiery wandering spirit has not always been captured on tape. That said, Hammond rings in 2007 with Push Comes to Shove, an album of originals and covers done his own way, recorded with his traveling band that includes bassist Marty Ballou, pianist/organist Bruce Katz, and drummer Stephen Hodges. There is a new twist in the offing, however. His producer this time out is someone who gets it. In Garrett Dutton (aka G. Love), Hammond has found the flame anew. Love and Hammond met years ago in a bar in Philly. Love was there to see the bluesman perform, but didn't know him by sight. He was old enough to drive to the gig and get in the door, but not old enough to drink legally. He approached Hammond and his wife, Marla, without knowing who they were, to buy drinks for him and his girlfriend. More recently, Hammond and Love happened upon one another in a train station in Yokohama. Marla made the suggestion and this collaboration was born. Love gets Hammond in a way that most producers can't. He feels and hears him as an itinerant bluesman who has to shout for his supper from the stage. That's the way Push Comes to Shove sounds: raw, mean, dirty, bellowing, and soulful. Love places Hammond's distorted, filthy guitar — electric or acoustic — just above the throng created by the band, mixing his voice just above them, roaring and growling like a lion. Above all, he captures the groove the band creates live in the recording studio. One listen to the title cut that opens the set is proof enough as it snarls, pounces, and struts. Hammond's harp and acoustic drive Junior Wells' "Come on in This House." The raw Chicago soulside blues come roiling out of the speakers with Hammond's spitfire, gravel, and grit electric harp popping its way through the mix. It's this track and Little Walter's "Everything Gonna Be Alright" — the high points on this disc — that signify Hammond's true worth. Not because the tunes are blues classics — though that doesn't hurt — but because Hammond takes these dusty old nuggets and polishes them off while leaving the scuffs intact. He makes the old blues new without succumbing to any of the "modern blues" clichés so prevalent in the music — indeed that are threatening to destroy it. The years roll back, and one can feel the sweat, blood, and beer running across the floor. Hammond pays back the honor by recording Love's "Butter" on the set; Love plays guitar on the track (and on Sonny Thompson's "I'm Tore Down" as well). And Hammond takes the opportunity to really let it rip. The cover of Tom Waits' "Cold Water" that closes the album is a hip selection. Hammond's feel for the tune is genuine. He copies Waits' phrasing, but the rest — the band's attack — is all his. It slips, slides, staggers, and all but collapses, but never loses the groove. This match, first made in a barroom, may have been just the kick Hammond needs to grab the attention of another generation without losing his hard-won constituency. © Thom Jurek © 2010 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=10:fxftxqurldae~T1

After many years as a respected blues traditionalist, John Hammond started recording original songs at the age of 60. In recent years he's teamed up with artists and producers like Tom Waits and David Hidalgo of Los Lobos. "Push Comes to Shove" features five Hammond originals, as well as some older Delta Blues' style numbers. The album was produced by hip-hop blues man G. Love. "Push Comes To Shove" is a great folk/blues album, and demonstrates what longtime musical collaborator Tom Waits meant when he said of him, "John's particular dialect in music is that of Charley Patton's shoe size and Skip James's watch chain. He has a blacksmith's rhythm and the kind of soul and precision it takes to cut diamonds or to handle snakes." Buy his "Ready for Love" album

TRACKS / COMPOSERS

Push Comes To Shove - John Hammond, Jr.
Come On In This House - Junior Wells Chicago Blues Band
Mean Ol' Lonesome Train - Hicks, O./J. West
If You Wanna Rock & Roll - Dion DiMucci
I'm Tore Down - Sonny Thompson
Eyes Behind Your Head - John Hammond, Jr.
Butter - Garrett Dutton
Heartache Blues - John Hammond, Jr.
Everything Gonna Be Alright - Jacobs, Walter
Take A Fool's Advice - John Hammond, Jr.
You Know That's Cold - John Hammond, Jr.
Cold Water - Brennan, K./Waits, T.

N.B: Album also available with the bonus tracks, "Walking to New Orleans", and "Mona".

MUSICIANS

John F. Hammond Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar, Guitar (Electric), Harp, Vocals, National Steel Guitar, Electric Harp, Sculpture
Marty Ballou Bass (Electric), Bass (Acoustic)
Bruce Katz Organ, Piano, Accordion, Piano (Electric)
Stephen Hodges Drums, Tambourine, Washboard, Handclapping, Shaker, Cowbell

REVIEWS

If the combination of veteran bluesman John Hammond with contemporary Philly hip-hop/soulman G Love (a.k.a. Garrett Dutton) sends shivers of fear down the spines of blues purists, the duo's collaboration here shows there is nothing to be worried about. Despite differences in age, backgrounds, and styles, they have shared bills and obviously respect each other's talents. Hammond, who has recently dipped his toes into songwriting waters after being solely an interpretive artist for nearly 40 years, jumps into the river with a whopping five originals. Love contributes a few as well, and the result is an album that rocks harder and with more intensity than most artists half Hammond's age can muster. Add covers from Little Walter, Junior Wells, and Tom Waits (Hammond's 2001 release Wicked Grin, comprised predominantly of Waits songs, is one of his biggest sellers), and the result is one of the finest and most diverse discs in the bluesman's bulging catalog. The stripped-down backing band of journeymen including bassist Marty Ballou, ex-Waits drummer Steven Hodges, and keyboardist Bruce Katz provides plenty of sparks with which Hammond--who plays rowdy guitar and sizzling harp throughout--can catch fire. Love adds his harmony vocals and rapping to his own "Tore Down," a near-perfect collision of blues and hip-hop and a song likely to get Hammond crossover acceptance with Dutton's more youthful jam-oriented audience. The jazzy "Eyes Behind Your Head" and a rollicking take on Dion's "If You Want to Rock and Roll" further expand Hammond's reach without either diluting his sound or distancing his core fans. In his mid-60s upon this album's release, he sounds loose, energized, and ready for another 40 years. © Hal Horowitz © 1996-2010, Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates

On PUSH COMES TO SHOVE, the 33rd album from this veteran bluesman, John Hammond updates his sound a bit by teaming with hip-hop/blues/pop artist G. Love. G. Love produces and contributes several songs to the album, which fit nicely alongside Hammond's originals and covers of tunes by Junior Wells and Little Walter. Yet G. Love's presence doesn't dilute Hammond's classic sound--quite the contrary. Taken mostly from live-in-the-studio performances, PUSH COMES TO SHOVE has a raw, fierce, and hard-grooving sound, placing it among Hammond's most exciting and vital releases.Uncut (p.97) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[W]ith rollicking covers of Tom Waits and Dion alongside the supremely funky, rap-assisted 'I'm Tore Down'..." Down Beat (p.69) - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "Hammond's smoky guitar and blistering harmonica are suitably lean and mean." © 1996 - 2010 CD Universe

http://www.cduniverse.com/search/xx/music/pid/7360571/a/Push+Comes+To+Shove.htm
Hammond, a prolific recording artist since 1962, is a seasoned veteran of the blues scene, past and present and over the years he has honed a sound that is earthy, gritty, and inherently joyous. His music is always energetic — he prefers to stomp his blues away — and Push Comes to Shove is no exception; this is one tough album. Hammond tears into some well-chosen covers, particularly Dion’s “If You Wanna Rock & Roll,” Sonny Thompson’s “I’m Tore Down,” and Junior Well’s “Come On In This House,” in which he howls like the Wolf, and the funky “Butter,” written by G. Love, who also produced the album. He also does a raw version of “Cold Water” by kindred spirit Tom Waits that sounds like it was recorded in a circus tent. (To delve deeper into their musical relationship, check out Hammond’s excellent 2001 release, Wicked Grin, on which he covers a dozen of Waits’ tunes). Hammond contributes five originals that showcase several shades of the blues, from jazzy and sophisticated (“Eyes Behind Your Head”) to back porch (“Heartache Blues”) to roadhouse (“You Know That’s Cold”). These are all high-octane performances by Hammond and his rock-solid touring band, and they feature fiery solos, killer guitar tones, some mean harmonica, spooky keyboards, and a lot of soulful singing. In other words, another great John Hammond album. [ iTunes Review ] http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/push-comes-to-shove-bonus-track/id211890771#



BIO

With a career that spans over three decades, John Hammond is one of handful of white blues musicians who was on the scene at the beginning of the first blues renaissance of the mid-'60s. That revival, brought on by renewed interest in folk music around the U.S., brought about career boosts for many of the great classic blues players, including Mississippi John Hurt, Rev. Gary Davis, and Skip James. Some critics have described Hammond as a white Robert Johnson, and Hammond does justice to classic blues by combining powerful guitar and harmonica playing with expressive vocals and a dignified stage presence. Within the first decade of his career as a performer, Hammond began crafting a niche for himself that is completely his own: the solo guitar man, harmonica slung in a rack around his neck, reinterpreting classic blues songs from the 1930s, '40s, and '50s. Yet, as several of his mid-'90s recordings for the Pointblank label demonstrate, he's also a capable bandleader who plays wonderful electric guitar. This guitar-playing and ensemble work can be heard on Found True Love and Got Love If You Want It, both for the Pointblank/Virgin label. Born November 13, 1942, in New York City, the son of the famous Columbia Records talent scout John Hammond, Sr., what most people don't know is that Hammond didn't grow up with his father. His parents split when he was young, and he would see his father several times a year. He first began playing guitar while attending a private high school, and he was particularly fascinated with slide guitar technique. He saw his idol, Jimmy Reed, perform at New York's Apollo Theater, and he's never been the same since. After attending Antioch College in Ohio on a scholarship for a year, he left to pursue a career as a blues musician. By 1962, with the folk revival starting to heat up, Hammond had attracted a following in the coffeehouse circuit, performing in the tradition of the classic country blues singers he loved so much. By the time he was just 20 years old, he had been interviewed for the New York Times before one of his East Coast festival performances, and he was a certified national act. When Hammond was living in the Village in 1966, a young Jimi Hendrix came through town, looking for work. Hammond offered to put a band together for the guitarist, and got the group work at the Cafe Au Go Go. By that point, the coffeehouses were falling out of favor, and instead the bars and electric guitars were coming in with folk-rock. Hendrix was approached there by Chas Chandler, who took him to England to record. Hammond recalls telling the young Hendrix to take Chandler up on his offer. "The next time I saw him, about a year later, he was a big star in Europe," Hammond recalled in a 1990 interview. In the late '60s and early '70s, Hammond continued his work with electric blues ensembles, recording with people like Band guitarist Robbie Robertson (and other members of the Band when they were still known as Levon Helm & the Hawks), Duane Allman, Dr. John, harmonica wiz Charlie Musselwhite, Michael Bloomfield, and David Bromberg. As with Dr. John and other blues musicians who've recorded more than two dozen albums, there are many great recordings that provide a good introduction to the man's body of work. His self-titled debut for the Vanguard label has now been reissued on compact disc by the company's new owners, The Welk Music Group, and other good recordings to check out (on vinyl and/or compact disc) include I Can Tell (recorded with Bill Wyman from the Rolling Stones), Southern Fried (1968), Source Point (1970, Columbia), and his most recent string of early- and mid-'90s albums for Pointblank/Virgin Records, Got Love If You Want It, Trouble No More (both produced by J.J. Cale), and Found True Love. He didn't know it when he was 20, and he may not realize it now, but Hammond deserves special commendation for keeping many of the classic blues songs alive. When fans see Hammond perform them, as Dr. John has observed many times with his music and the music of others, the fans often want to go back further, and find out who did the original versions of the songs Hammond now plays. Although he's a multi-dimensional artist, one thing Hammond has never professed to be is a songwriter. In the early years of his career, it was more important to him that he bring the art form to a wider audience by performing classic — in some cases forgotten — songs. Now, more than 30 years later, Hammond continues to do this, touring all over the U.S., Canada, and Europe from his base in northern New Jersey. He continued to release albums into the new millennium with three discs on the Back Porch label, including Ready for Love in 2002, produced David Hidalgo of Los Lobos, In Your Arms Again in 2005, and Push Comes to Shove in 2007. Whether it's with a band or by himself, Hammond can do it all. Seeing him perform live, one still gets the sense that some of the best is still to come from this energetic bluesman. © Richard Skelly © 2010 Rovi Corporation. All Rights Reserved. http://www.allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&sql=11:aiftxq95ldke~T1

4 comments:

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