John Hammond's career goes right back to the early '60s as part of the Greenwich Village Folk scene. On this slice of audio Blues bliss, Hammond covers songs by the likes of Lightnin' Slim, Willie Dixon, Sleepy John Estes and Blind Willie McTell.
The Hammond organ, especially the B-3 combined with the Leslie speaker, has long been an integral part of modern popular music.You can hear the "classic" sound of the Hammond organ in blues, gospel, jazz, rock, and even on some contemporary singer/songwriter songs (try to picture Dylan's "Like a Rolling Stone" or Procol Harem's "Whiter Shade of Pale" without that distinctive sound).
John Hammond's passion and commitment to his music have inspired blues lovers throughout the world for more than forty years. Now guitarists (and harmonica players) can learn, up close, how John plays the songs, licks, grooves and soulful solos that make up his dynamic blues style.
Although Hammond had already recorded electric material, he went back to a solo acoustic format for his fourth album, accompanying himself on guitar and harmonica on faithful interpretations of standards by Robert Johnson, Blind Willie McTell, John Lee Hooker, Sleepy John Estes, Jimmy Reed, Willie Dixon, and Bo Diddley. If it sounds a bit unimaginative and routine today, one has to remember that the general listening audience was much less aware of these artists and songs in the mid-'60s. Hammond did a commendable job of rendering them here, with fine guitar work and vocals that were a considerable improvement over his earliest efforts.–by Richie Unterberger