John Hammond is o ne of the handful of 60s folk blues revivalists whose music has retained its relevance over the years (others include Dave Van Ronk and Andy Cohen). Beginning in New York in the early 60s, Hammond learned early on to forge his own distinctive style while remaining true to the musical spirit of such masters as Llghtnin’ Hopkins, Big Joe Williams, and John Lee Hooker. Although some have questioned his authenticity (his father, John Hammond Sr., was a legendary blues, jazz, and pop record producer; young John was certainly born with a silver guitar pick in his mouth), ideological turf wars tend to fade in the face of his remarkable technical mastery and deep-running love and respect for the tradition he’s adopted, A rare Chicago appearance by an important carrier of the blues torch. Tonight, Cotton Chicago, 3204 N. Wilton; 528-1651.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/James Fraher.