(John Paul Hammond)
Born: November 13, 1942, New York, New York
Photo credit: Bill Steber – www.steberphoto.com
The son of legendary talent scout/producer, John Hammond, John taught himself to play guitar and harmonica by listening to blues records. Hammond usually plays acoustically, and sings in a barrelhouse style. Since 1962, when he made his debut on Vanguard Records, Hammond has made thirty-four albums. In the 1990s he began recording on the Point Blank Records label. Hammond has earned one Grammy Award and been nominated for four others. He also provided the soundtrack for the 1970 film, Little Big Man, starring Dustin Hoffman. Although critically acclaimed, Hammond enjoys a strong fan base and has earned respect from the likes of John Lee Hooker, Roosevelt Sikes, Duane Allman, Charlie Musselwhite, and others. all of whom have contributed their musical talents to his records. In addition, he is the only person who ever had both Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix in his band at the same time, if only for five days in the 1960s when Hammond played The Gaslight Cafe in New York City. In the early part of the 1990s, Hammond hosted the 1991 UK television documentary The Search for Robert Johnson. Hammond has had a longstanding friendship with the songwriter Tom Waits, and has performed Waits’ songs on occasion. In 2001, he released Wicked Grin, an album almost entirely of Tom Waits compositions. Waits himself provided guitar work and backing vocals as well as producing the project. In 2002, he released Ready for Love, produced by David Hidalgo of Los Lobos fame. His most recent album, entitled Rough and Tough was released in 2009. The album was a 2010 nominee for the Grammy Award for Best Traditional Blues Album. In 2011, Hammond was inducted into the Blues Hall of Fame of the Blues Foundation.