May 27, 2009

John Hammond - Got Love If You Want It

This 1992 release has got some sweet guests and some great solo work. Guesting is JJ Cale, John Lee Hooker and Charlie Baty and his Nightcats buddies!

Solo work includes Tom Waits' "No One Can Forgive Me But My Baby"

One of the most influential moments in my musical life was seeing John Hammond play live. You can find him on MySpace. My buddy and I had heard his records, his parents had a huge record collection, but we didn't really get it, not yet. He was playing a bar in Denver called The Mercury Cafe, we were under age and getting in was going to be a problem. We were probably about 17, there wasn't much chance of us bluffing our way into a 21 establishment, we didn't have fake ID's and we certainly weren't blonde with a tight pair of jeans. But my friend's mother wasn't about to let that stop her, she had a few words with the door man, promised we wouldn't drink, told him how important it was that we see this guy...and he let us in. Looking back I'm not sure why she was so intent on us seeing this show. Maybe she just saw it as an opportunity to expand our musical tastes beyond Led Zeppelin. But I'm thankful, and when the door man wasn't looking, she bought us a beer!
We were early and sat right up front. This was not a big place and I bet we were no more than 10 feet from the stage. The stage was just a platform made of 2x4's and plywood, good for stomping on, as I was about to find out.
I don't remember the set list, I don't even remember a particular song. What I remember is John sitting in a chair, harmonica holder around his neck, singing, stomping and wailing on that guitar. And to add to the intensity he had Washboard Chaz Leary playing washboard! What a trip. I had never seen anything like this. I was well into my concert going days by then, I had seen the Who, the Stones, pyrotechnics, lasers, blah blah blah. So why was this guy blowing me away? He was sitting down! He had a guy playing the washboard and plinking tin cans...WTF??
The bottom line is that John is an intense man that loves the blues and plays 'em that way. And it was evident that night, stomping and all! It was an introduction to another kind of music that I have loved and appreciated since. Maybe that night in the Mercury Cafe will never be matched, but I'm not worried.


  1. Hello Delta,

    Thank you for your great work!

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  2. Wow! What a great Story; and what a great album this is too! Thank You So Much!