Jazz Alley in Seattle will present award winning blues guitarist John Hammond, touring solo in support of his latest Grammy-nominated release Rough and Tough, with opening performance by sensuous blues vocalist Mia Vermillion. Feb. 22-23, 2011
John Hammond is a 2010 GRAMMY Nominee for his new release Rough & Tough (Best Traditional Blues Album) Rough & Tough is his 33rd album since his 1962 self-titled debut, was recorded live in November 2008 at St. Peter's Episcopal Church in NYC; solo and acoustic, he plays National Steel, Guild 12-String and Stubbs 6-String guitars and harmonica. Included are songs written by Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Blind Willie McTell and Tom Waits among others, as well as two of his own.
In some ways, Rough & Tough, harkens back to that first recording Hammond did with Vanguard Records nearly 50 years ago. But over time, Hammond has become a force of nature onto himself, closer in spirit to the icons he emulated as a young man. His guitar playing has become stronger, his expression deepened by the years. Since its release, Rough & Tough has hit #13 on the Billboard Blues charts. With a career that spans over three decades, John Hammond is one of handful of white blues musicians who was on the scene at the beginning of the first blues renaissance of the mid-'60s. Some critics have described Hammond as a white Robert Johnson, and Hammond does justice to classic blues by combining powerful guitar and harmonica playing with expressive vocals and a dignified stage presence.
Mia Vermillion's emergence onto the blues scene two years ago caught the immediate attention of critics and others in the blues world. "Vermillion is a fresh and welcome arrival on the blues (and jazz) scene. The full depth of her talent has yet to be seen," according to AllAboutJazz.com's Michael Bailey. "She infuses her singing with more humidity than Ma Rainey and more sex than Lena Horn." Mia released her self-produced, debut album Alone Together With the Blues in 2009. The record gained national attention making it into the Roots Music Report top 50 blues chart, as well as reaching #2 on XM Radio's B.B. King's Bluesville 'Picks to Click' with her recording of 'I'm Going to Copyright Your Kisses.' "This album is a well-thought, well-planned, economical, and astronomical first release for this artist… She's got a magnificent voice that is on par with any ladies I've heard today," states blues critic Ben Cox of Blues Blast Magazine. Mia's music has been described as smokey blues, with songs from early blues and jazz artists such as Lil Green and Mary Ann Williams blended with her own compositions. Mia performs with acoustic guitarist and Dobro master Orville Johnson.