Photo: Kendall Messick
Elmore Magazine

Man of the Moment. This veteran bluesman has made his own history, and helped make history for others (including Hendrix and Dylan) - to the benefit of us all. John describes his trajectory from callow youth to his 30th album.

John Hammond plays Hohner Harmonicas
and uses D'Addario Strings

John Hammond


"…a blues legend with a voice like Robert Johnson's and a demeanor that belies his tear-it-up might before an audience…" - The New York Times

"John Hammond is not only "America's modern country blues man," he is 100% the "real deal." - Paul Aaronson, Elmore

"…this SACD presents Hammond in crystalline studio sound, working with unflappable self-assurance through a setlist of blues from sources like Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Little Walter and Blind Willie McTell, adding Tom Waits's Get Behind The Mule and remaking his own Waitsian Slick Crown Vic. Apart from an unlikely Chattanooga Choo Choo, this has been more or less Hammond's standard mix for several albums now, but as long as he continues to approach such venerable material with ingenuity and some independence of mind, who would want to complain?" - Mojo, review of Rough & Tough

"He interpreted blues standards, gut-bucket boogie, country blues, and his original blues compositions about love gained and lost through the complex narrative of his own wayward soul…The blues are a living, breathing, and feeling thing, and Hammond in his fiftieth year on the road is a legendary master at live performance." - Blues Revue

"Raw electric blues generate the album's primary thrust, riddled with cross-harp riffs, cresting organ runs, boogie piano breaks, stomping beats and Hammond's wonderfully weathered vocals." - The Washington Post, review of Push Comes To Shove

"A brilliant and prolific artist, John Hammond's reputation can only improve." - offBeat Magazine

"…a bluesman to be reckoned with." - Time Out New York

"…like bourbon, his voice only gets more seductively potent with age." - Billboard, review of Ready For Love

"The idea of having veteran bluesman John Hammond perform an album of songs written and produced by Tom Waits turns out to be every bit as pleasing to the ears as it appears on paper … What makes Wicked Grin such a splendidly untraditional-blues album is spelled out in Waits' and Hammond's different approaches to ‘Murder In The Red Barn.' On 1992's Bone Machine, Waits bore down on the song like a man in possession of a terrible secret. When John Hammond sings it here, it's like that secret has been handed down for generations." - Rolling Stone, review of Wicked Grin

"…[A] tour de force by the veteran bluesman…An inspired match of artist, material and production, Wicked Grin is a Tom Waits album nobody thought possible and a John Hammond album nobody could have expected." - San Francisco Chronicle, review of Wicked Grin