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Southern Fried

John Hammond, Jr.

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Album Review

Southern Fried differed little from other early Hammond albums in its repertoire, consisting entirely of covers of blues and R&B songs. As usual, the Chicago sound came in for especially heavy tribute, with versions of songs by Howlin' Wolf, Muddy Waters, and Chuck Berry, as well as a pass at "Mystery Train," though more vocal-oriented R&B got a nod with Chuck Willis' "It's Too Late" and some of the other tunes. Where this might have a leg up on some other early Hammond efforts — and a leg up on blues cover albums in general — is in the stellar band, featuring Muscle Shoals stalwarts like Eddie Hinton and Roger Hawkins. Allman Brothers fans, too, will want to keep an eye out for it as it features Duane Allman playing fine lead guitar on four tracks; certainly his peeling slide guitar solo on "Shake for Me" rates among his best work as a session man. Original the album isn't it, yet though Hammond isn't a great vocalist or interpreter, these are indeed very solid and joyful blues-rock versions of classic '50s-style electric blues. Horns on four of the songs add some soulful variety and spice to set this a little further apart from the ordinary blues-rock album.

Biography

Born: 13 November 1942 in New York, NY

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

John Hammond, Jr. is one of a handful of white blues musicians who was on the scene at the beginning of the first blues renaissance of the mid-'60s. That revival, brought on by renewed interest in folk music around the U.S., brought about career boosts for many of the great classic blues players, including Mississippi John Hurt, Rev. Gary Davis, and Skip James. Some critics have described Hammond as a white Robert Johnson, and Hammond does justice to classic blues by combining powerful guitar and...
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Southern Fried, John Hammond, Jr.
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