Free Lunch for Tuesday, Feb. 18 2003

Chattanooga, TN – John Hammond's new album, Ready for Love, is the featured album for Tuesday's Free Lunch on WUTC radio.

Ready for Love is a difficult album to describe. Its random assortment of songs makes it extremely difficult to pinpoint a theme. And I'm a bit perplexed as to the motivation behind covering such songs as Spider And The Fly, by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards and the George Jones hit, Just One More. Nevertheless, Hammond manages to carry the different song styles in his own and very unique way.

Highlights on the album include a cover of the chart-topping 1971, Freddie Hart tune, Easy Lovin'. Another standout is Gin Soaked Boy, by Tom Waits which will suffice to please fans of Hammond's last release, Wicked Grin, featuring nothing but an assortment of covers by Tom Waits. But the most surprising track on the album would have to be Slick Crown Vic, Hammond's first original composition in his 40 years and 29 albums.

The lyrics in Slick Crown Vic paint a picture of an aging rock star, struggling to cling onto his last bit of youthful exuberance. Hammond, 60 years young, appears to be succeeding in keeping his youth alive. He writes:

Rode into town in my slick crown vic/ Feeling kind of restless, gonna find me a chick

Some of the album's credit should be given to producer of the album, David Hidalgo, of Los Lobos fame. Other marquee guests on Ready For Love include Soozie Tyrell, a member of Springsteen's legendary E-street band, and Stephen Hodges of the Fabulous Thunderbirds. And not to mention the added inspiration of the great Tom Waits on two of the 13-tracks on the album.

According to Waits, Ready For Love is indicative of Hammond's staying power in the recording business.

Used to be songs weren't written down, they circulated like rumors or humor, scary stories, bad news, good news, and everyone whose hands they passed through put their mark on them and the songs put their mark on you Waits told Virgin Records. John Hammond with his guitar and slide, a harmonica and voice that can make a sound like a whole train going by at night or like he's trying not to wake the baby.

Ready For Love will be played, in its entirety, beginning at noon on Tuesday, Feb 18. For more information on John Hammonds and his new album, Ready For Love, visit