~Portraits in Blues~




John Hammond 01/17/2009

Elgin Community College

Anyone who gets the chance to see John Hammond is really fortunate. He draws out so much emotion from his audience as he performs unaccompanied.  Each song has meaning, because John has a little story about almost everything he plays. The guitars he uses are as individual as he is; each with its own personality, which is clear as they are his only accompaniment. Johnís performances are always unique, in that the sounds that you hear are coming from him and his guitars Ė nothing else. No peddles, no drums, no bass. Just pure John Hammond. You have to see him to fully appreciate the music, though, because the expressions on his face go hand in hand with the particular song that he is playing.. Its as if he is letting you see into his soul while he plays. One of the things that is really distinctive about John is that his wife, Marla, is always with him. Although she is not on the stage, you know she is present because when John performs, you canít help but feel that she is a part of each particular piece. Its just a feeling I get when I see them.
The music that he writes allows you a special insight into a genuine, living, Bluesmanís life. Marla is evident in many of these songs.


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