100%

Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options

Download this Issue

Share

Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

This collection, digitized in collaboration with the Michigan Daily and the Board for Student Publications, contains materials that are protected by copyright law. Access to these materials is provided for non-profit educational and research purposes. If you use an item from this collection, it is your responsibility to consider the work's copyright status and obtain any required permission.

January 16, 1987 - Image 9

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1987-01-16

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

ARTS
Friday, January 16, 1987

The Michigan Daily

Troubadour Hammond rolls into 1

By Alan Paul
John Hammond is a musician
who doesn't do anything too fancy
nor anything too complicated. All
he does, 12 months and 180 days a
year, is play the blues alone, all by
his lonesome. Hammond is one of
the last solo acoustic blues
performers on the road today.
Hammond got turned onto
acoustic blues in 1958 when he
first heard a recording of legendary
Delta bluesman Robert Johnson. "I
was a blues fan before that,"
Hammond said, "but when I heard
his stuff I actually felt inspired to
go out and play. And I did."
During his 25 year career
Hammond has played with many of
the finest blues and blues influenced
musicians in the land, including
John Lee Hooker, Dr. John, Steve
Winwood, Robbie Robertson,
Duane Allman, and Michael
Bloomfield. Yet, Hammond has
chosen to remain solo and true to a
pure form of blues for most of the
years.
"There's a certain intensity and
powerful impact which a solo artist
can put across which I just don't
think a band can create," Hammond
explains, "In a band the focus is
diffused, even if just a little bit. A
solo artist, when everything is
right, can be much more effective
(than a band).
"It's harder on a solo artist
rings
reeze
Dublin. He'd have the paces down
and how many seconds it took to
walk and he'd use those limits as to
what his character was thinking in
that time. I admire that kind of
detail ... if you know what you're
thinking about, and you go that
extra step ... it gives you a certain
credibility with the listener."
Bill Morrissey's fine songs are
sung in a disarming growl and
sprinkled with a desert-dry wit.
When talking about his music,
Morrissey peppers his conversation
with literary references and quotes
from authors, managing to do so in
a remarkably unpretentious way.
His songs reflect his thoughtful,
down-to-earth manner, and should
make his Sunday night performance
at the Ark (scheduled for 8p.m.) a
night to remember.

because there's alot more pressure,"
Hammond continued, "You can't
hide anything when you're up there
alone, it's much more intense. It's
really a unique thing. You just see
the one guy and all his emotions
come out."
Hammond, who is married and
the father of four, also had more
personal reasons for deciding not to
work with a band.
"How long can you hang out
with the fellows if you've got a
wife and kids?" Hammond asked
rhetorically.
The present time is being hailed
by many as a blues boom or
revival, a situation which must be
viewed somewhat ironically by
someone such as Hammond, who
never once stopped playing the,
music for a quarter of a century.
"Blues is the most popular
nightclub music that there is, or
ever has been, in the country -

maybe even in the world, "
Hammond stated, "The reason that
the music has never quite crossed
over commercially is because of the
group which radio chooses to aim
their market at. Radio is trying to
market their stuff at about a 12 year
old market and that's true even with
the F.M. stations now.
"But I think this is a 'blues
boom' ... look at people like Stevie
Ray (Vaughn) or the (Fabulous)
Thunderbirds," Hammond
continued, "But look, there always
will be blues. It's not the kind of
thing which comes and goes. But
there are artists which can reach a
younger audience and bring them
around to it quicker than the natural
age process does. At the age of 19
or so, you've been filled to the
brim with pop stuff which is just
juvenile, and you develop a taste for
the saltier stuff."
Many people have also claimed

that
influ
more
such
T. B
from
an
Ham
"I
pure]
artist
says,
phen
man
inclu
great
How
musi
whic
passi
H
the I
Sund
10p.n
door.

e 9
town
as the blues come to be
enced, even dominated, by
and more white musicians
as Hammond, Vaughn, and the
irds, the music moves, a way
its origin as a black art form,
accusation which bothers
mond.
don't think that it ever was
ly black, although the greatest
s have been black," Hammond
, "Blues is a real American
omenan and it came from so
y different areas and tutrfies,
ding American Indians, many
s including Muddy Waters and
lin' Wolf were part Indian.
The blues are an American
cal form. It's a unique music
h can capture the power and
ion of living."
nammond will be appearing at
Blind Pig for two shows ,on
ay night, scheduled for 8 and
n. Admittance is $6.50gt- the
ents Presentation

John Hammond, one of the last solo acoustic blues greats, takes a brief
respite from his lengthy road trips.
Bill Morrissey b
a fresh musical I

By Jeff Stanzler
Since I listen to a lot of folk
music, I've begun to wonder lately
about why it seems that there are so
few good singer/songwriters around.
Well, slowly it occurred to me that
lamenting the apparent absence of
scores of good singer/songwriters
was completely backwards. When
you think about it, the solo
acoustic performer is about as
exposed as a musician can get; as
that performer, you and your songs
have precious little place to hide.
So I've decided to celebrate the
successes rather than denounce the
failures. Believe me, Bill Morrissey
is cause for celebration.
Let's just not tear down any
buildings or anything; it wouldn't
suit Morrissey's style. He works
with small strokes, illuminating
details from the lives of factory
hands and small town bartenders,
and bringing these characters to life.
Morrissey, who's been around and
done some rambling, feels very
strongly about his direct, intimate
style of writing.
"It's kind of funny," he says, "I
know a lot of guys in New York
who don't write about New York,
they write about Paris ... write
about what you know! Some of the
greatest literature, it's not romantic
a, stuff, it's just day to day, how
Michigan Daily
ARTS
763-0379
titwt
FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
1432 Washtenaw Ave. -662-4466
(between Hill and S. University St.)
William Hillegonds, Senior Minister
Sunday Worship Services at 9:30 and
11:00a.m.
UNIVERSITY MINISTRY
J. B. Notkin, University Minister
University Seminar: Galations
11:00 a.m., French Room.
AMERICAN BAPTIST
CAMPUS CENTER
FIRST BAPTIST CHURCH
Huron St. (between State & Division)
Sundays: 9:55 worship; 11:25 Bible
Study groups for both Undergrads and
Graduate Students.
Wednesdays: 5:30 Supper (free) and
Fellowship.
CENTER OPEN EACH DAY
for information call 663-9376
ROBERT B. WALLACE, PASTOR

people sturggle from day to day. A
lot of my characters have suddenly
realized and had to come to terms
with the fact that their dreams aren't
going to come true, and they're
kinda looking for a way to get by,
figure it out."
Listening to Bill Morrissey's
two albums (Bill Morrissey and
North, both on Philo/Rounder
Records), one gets the sense of a
song craftsman at work, fashioning
something striking out of the
quotidian, even mundane moments
of life. I asked Morrissey about this
aspect of his songwriting, and he
replied that it was something he
worked hard to achieve.
"James Joyce used to count out
how many paces it was from Davy
Jones' pub to some landmark in

Tickets Available at the Michigan Union Ticket office and
All Ticket World/Ticket Master Outlets
CHARGE BY PHONE. 763-TKTS
A Major v

x 'i

UNION
Arts & Programming
presents
Sweaters
at wholesale prices
10am-5pm today
(last day)
Michigan Union, ground floor
- ~
-4
- A
over

s

-BIVOUAC'S~-
PRE-INVENTORY CLEARANCE
ALL
FALL f& WINTER>
MERCHANDISE
15 -50% OFF
ESPIRIT
PATAGONIA
GUESS
GIRBAUD
WILLI WEAR
KIKIT
TON SUR TON
THE NORTH FACE
CP SHADES
SALE ENDS SAT., JAN. 17th
Open Sun.
330 S. State St. 761-6207 1-4:30

$10.00 off selected designer sweaters with this ad

i

Back to Top

© 2020 Regents of the University of Michigan