Push Comes To Shove
Although John Hammond’s recording career spans somewhere in the region
of 40 years, he’s always been known more for his live music then for
his recorded works.
It looks very much as though he intends to right this wrong with a
superb new CD, Push Comes To Shove (Back Porch), in collaboration with a HipHop man called G.Love.
Despite the diverse musical backgrounds, this partnership has produced
some great results.
Unusually, John Hammond has decided to start writing his own material,
and there are five of his originals included on the album, as well as some
The cover versions are topnotch too, and the combination is pure magic
for John Hammond fans.
Some of the covers might seem a little out of place on a blues album
(like Dion’s “If You Want To Rock n Roll"), but trust me, they work! The
others, by Little Walter, Junior Wells, etc need no explanation.
The album opens with the title track “Push Comes To Shove,” a Hammond
original and a very good medium tempo blues rocker, and a great way to
open the CD.
The speed drops down a notch with the Junior Wells track “Come On In
This House,” one of the best versions that I’ve heard, before moving on
to the Otis Hicks/Jerry West number, “Mean Ole Lonesome Train.
By the time track four comes around it's obvious that this CD is something
special – and this track is the Dion cover, featuring some fine piano
work by Bruce Katz, who stands out as a fine musician on this album.
My least favourite track has to be “Tore Down,” with some background
vocals by G.Love – that’s not to say it’s a bad track, it’s just not to
my taste and possibly might not appeal to blues purists.
Favourite track?.......... It has to be a choice between the Hammond
original “Heartache Blues,” Little Walter’s “Everything’s Gonna Be
Alright” and “If You Want To Rock n Roll” – the CD is worth buying for
these three tracks alone.
Musically, there isn’t a bad track on the album.