Artist Profile: John Hammond

Occasionally, we’ll be highlighting some of the amazing musicians who are beginning to incorporate the WalkaBout into their musical arsenals. Today, we’re excited to have Nashville session/touring musician, John Hammond, with us.

WalkaBlog: Tell us a little about yourself.

I began my professional music career more than 30 years ago touring with Grammy Award winning artist, Russ Taff. Since then I’ve recorded or performed with such renowned artists as Whitney Houston, Faith Hill, Vince Gill, Jewel, Olivia Newton-John, Barry Manilow, Miley Cyrus (Hannah Montana), Peter Cetera, Cliff Richard, Amy Grant, Peter Frampton, Larry Carlton, Wynonna, Willie Nelson, Ricky Skaggs, Reba McEntire, Christopher Cross, Michael McDonald, Colbie Caillat, and Tim Akers and The Smoking Section.

WalkaBlog: Stylistically speaking, that’s quite a wide and eclectic list. Who were your musical influences growing up?

As a child I remember predominantly listening to three albums: “Led Zeppelin II,” Bob Dylan’s “Nashville Skyline”, and “The Best of Buddy Rich.” Oblivious at the time to that extreme stylistic dichotomy, I’m now very thankful for the incredibly broad spectrum of music it represented.

WalkaBlog: What about now? What keeps you inspired after all these years?

Today, I’m still inspired by great musicianship, regardless of style. Technique is always impressive, but I’d say now I’m just as impressed by a musician’s ability to create a new sound/approach.

WalkaBlog: You were one of the first people to adopt the WalkaBout Drum. What are your impressions of this instrument?

The WalkaBout Drum is a wonderful mixture of elements. I recall several times past when I created percussion parts on songs by “thumping” on an acoustic guitar. To me the WalkaBout is a portable combination of that and a cajon, with the convenience of a built-in microphone. It’s also easier on the back.

WalkaBlog: What are you up to now?

I’ve been extremely blessed. I just turned 59 and I’m still at it. Mostly as a session musician, but with enough live performances to keep things interesting.

[Photo: John Hammond performing at the Oak Tree. Photo Credit: Richard Suter.]