Indy: Your 2001 CD, Wicked Grin, was a departure. Instead of blues tunes, you did a cross-section of Tom Waits songs, with Waits himself producing the album. How do you look back on that project?
Hammond: It was different from anything I'd ever done. It introduced me to a lot of Tom Waits fans, who perhaps had not ever heard of me before. So it was very dynamic in that sense ... I just felt really honored that Tom would lend himself to this project so completely.
Indy: More recently, your Ready for Love had songs by some non-blues artists like George Jones. It looks like you wanted to focus on blues again on your current CD, In Your Arms Again. True?
Hammond: I did. I felt that my last recording, Ready for Love , was experimental in a lot of ways. I did some George Jones songs and a Freddie Hart tune, which was unlike anything I'd ever done before, a Jerry Portnoy song, "I Can't Remember to Forget." There was some interesting material ... so it was time to get back to what I do all the time I mean, real blues.
Indy: In Your Arms Again features some songs by well-known bluesmen. Was there anything conscious in the choice of covers?
Hammond: Well these are songs, you know, that I just feel a part of somehow. I've admired these artists for all the years I've been around. I've had some extraordinary chances to work with Howlin' Wolf and Muddy [Waters] and John Lee Hooker, of course, and countless artists that I met in the early '60s, artists like Son House and Bukka White. So it was a lot of fun just to go for it again.
At Jimbo's Take 2, Sept. 21.
This show at Stargazers with the Charlie Milo Trio will be broadcast live on local…
This is awesome! Excited about the new music and adventures for his year!
Thanks so much!!!