John Hammond: So Many Roads
One of young Hammond's better early albums.
John Hammond jr., son of the legendary Columbia Records A&R man who had signed Billie Holliday, Aretha Franklin and Bob Dylan, met the Hawks in Toronto in 1964 and was astonished by the perfection with which these young men played rhythm and blues. After several jam sessions with the Hawks, Hammond arranged for the Hawks to back him on this third album he would cut for Vanguard, but the record company insisted that he should use bassist Jimmy Lewis and piano player Mike Bloomfield. The old-time-blues inspired album So Many Roads ended up with Robbie, Levon and Garth contributing guitar, drums and keyboards. Robertson's guitar work is among his most exciting blues performances, what Greil Marcus described as "all rough edges, jagged bits of metal ripping through the spare rhythm section".
A re-release of this album, with outtakes and bonus tracks, came in 2001 under the title So Many Roads - The Complete Sessions .
So Many Roads - John Hammond - 1965 - 38:35- Vanguard VSD-79178
AMG Rating: 8 (out of 9)