Hammond's bass player (Marty Ballou) was still on a plane in Washington, D.C., when the band took the stage, so Mountain Stage bassist Steve Hill filled in, flanked by Stephen Hodges on drums and Bruce Katz on piano and organ.
Hammond performs a set of fresh pieces here.
He combines the new and the classic in "I'm Tore Down," which features a refrain by '40s and '50s bandleader Sonny Thompson with additional lyrics by Push Come to Shove producer G. Love.
Hammond tells the story of meeting Dion Dimucci (of late-'50s group Dion and the Belmonts) before covering Dimucci's 2008 song "If You Wanna Rock and Roll."
- "Push Comes to Shove"
- "Come On in This House"
- "I'm Tore Down"
- "If You Wanna Rock and Roll"
At 19, John Hammond hitchhiked to Los Angeles to start his career — and, in part, to remove himself from the long shadow of his father, John Henry Hammond.
A well-known A&R executive, Hammond's father brought Bessie Smith, Big Joe Turner and Bob Dylan, among many others, to the forefront of American music.
Now, 40 years and more than 4,000 gigs later, John Hammond has influenced and inspired many young blues artists, just the way he himself was inspired by greats like Sonny Boy Williamson, John Lee Hooker and Willie Dixon.
A great interpreter of classic blues, Hammond has recently begun penning his own songs.
In his long career, he's built a repertoire that spans decades and generations, and has helped to preserve and perpetuate the blues tradition while building up a legacy of his own.
He performs two of his own songs, "Heartache Blues" and "You Know That's Cold," here on Mountain Stage, and he also pays tribute to Guitar Slim in "Mean Ol' Train."
Hammond also revisits one of his most popular phases with "Get Behind the Mule," a song written by Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan and included on the seminal Hammond record of Waits material, Wicked Grin.
To round out the set, Mountain Stage pianist Bob Thompson performs Duke Ellington's "In a Sentimental Mood."
This segment originally ran Oct. 24, 2008.
- "Mean Ol' Lonesome Train"
- "Heartache Blues"
- "Get Behind the Mule"
- "You Know That's Cold"
- * Performed by Bob Thompson on piano
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