World’s shortest John Hammond Interview

Dec. 2, 2009

In November, my “12 Shows in 12 Months” covered the John Hammond/David Lindley show in Portland. And in the process of getting John’s setlist for the show compiled, I thought I’d send a few interview questions along. Well, John, was kind enough to respond, and here they are – problem is, you’ll be done reading it before you hum a verse of “Sweet Home Chicago.”

Really, I timed it. So without further ado – I present the “World’s Shortest John Hammond Interview.”

1. You obviously pay tribute to blues players who represent the foundation of the music (Johnson, McTell, Estes). What modern players do you admire?

Alvin Hart

2. You have something like over 30 albums. Which do you enjoy more – solo material or working with a band?

I enjoy both. However I lean more towards solo material

3. I’ve read that sometimes your name is mistaken for your father’s, and your father was instrumental in signing Mr. Dylan, among many others, to Columbia Record Company. How early in your life did you realize you had a direct connection to these music sources?

As soon as I wanted to play music in my teens I started making my own connections to the blues.

4. Your guitar style is steeped in tradition. Who did you start learning from and what song did you first learn to play?

I began watching a lot of guys play in the beginning but I would say Lightnin Hopkins was who I first learned to play

5. Bonus question: what’s it really like touring with David Lindley?

Wonderful! We have a great relationship.

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