Though George Thorogood is probably the first name that comes to mind when thinking of a white artist who made his living from singing gut bucket blues songs, anyone who knows their music history will pipe up John Hammond quicker than a hiccup. And sure, I could have mentioned The Rolling Stones etc. but I am talking pure, unadulterated folk blues complete with slide guitar slidin’ and harmonica wailin’ and everyone knows The Stones stuck to the more commercial end of the blues spectrum save a few album cuts here and there.
Hammond has done pure blues since his very first album in 1962 and continues to proselytize the pure blues up to this very day. Shit, the man didn’t even begin writing his own songs until 2005 or so, preferring to let originals by Son House and a myriad of other true blues artists do his writing for him and he chose exemplary songs to cover on his records. Besides having an ear for a great song, Hammond has also been blessed with a great ear for the proper session musicians for his albums. While some of this talent may have come from being the son of legendary talent scout Albert Hammond who discovered Billie Holiday and Bruce Springsteen (among many, many others) for Columbia Records one can’t help but think Hammond just has an incredible ear as he was able to get guitarists Eddie Hinton and Duane Allman to play on his records, among other future stars.
These albums included on this comp are two of Hammond’s best, from the early ’70’s when Hammond had found his footing and was singing great blues confidently and aggressively, as if he wrote these songs. Though Hammond continues to record to this day and has even become a decent songwriter after thirty years or so, these are two of his best albums and he hasn’t quite come close since, though all of his albums are of good quality. Check this comp out for some primo primo blues. White guy or not, this guy is the real deal!