Brad Hammonds Group

Photos by Clay Patrick McBride

I’m not sure if it’s the composing pen of someone who’s soaked in Ani DeFranco, Tool, Metallica and Shakti, or the insertion of an electric bass among all those acoutsic string instruments or the creative rhythms or the inclusion of 

Burnt Sugar the Arkestra Chamber players

, but there’s definitely something a little different about acoustic guitarist Brad Hammonds’ music. For his upcoming album 

Greene Street

, he decided to cobble together a quartet of musicians who can help him create a set of instrumental music that would better exploit his acoustic guitar skills and an eclectic songwriting background. The Brad Hammonds Group is thus made up of Hammonds, cellist Will Martina, bassist Jason DiMatteo and percussionist Mathias Kunzli (Nick Russo adds banjo and mandolin where needed).

You could call this music “bluegrass,” but at times it’s by default. Hammonds can redirect his very capable band to so many parts of the country and of the world: there’s the bluesy, hoedown thump of “Stomp,” the Appalachia symphony of “Chesapeake,” and the multi-mood “If This, Then That” (see Youtube below). But it’s not all Americana; “Parisian is a modern take on the prewar French swing of Stephane Grappelli and Django Reinhardt, “Further East” has a Middle-Eastern flair, “Summer Feel” feels like European chamber music and “Ryan The Lion” appears to blend Celtic with North African folk music.

[SOMETHING ELSE! REWIND:

Brad Hammonds Group's own Will Martina is a force on his own as a cellist, composer and bandleader, as his recent recent release 

The Dam Levels

 affirms.

]

Everywhere on this album, Kunzli’s percussion adds another kick in the pants to these tunes: as a drummer first, Hammonds understands rhythmic concepts first hand and allowed his percussionist to play bolder than what’s usually allowed in these kind of settings. The Brad Hammonds Group, however, don’t approach anything in a necessarily conventional way, yet it all somehow comes together impulsively with a rich composite sound. Not too unfamiliar but definitely not rote, Hammonds is onto something good, here.

Original Post 

Monday, July 02, 2012

Brad Hammond is a singer/songwirter. He started his music career, right here at Caffe Vivaldi, some 7 years ago. Now he is a very successful entrepreneur, but his passion and first love is making music. Below is the review of his new album.   -Sullivan dFSunday, July 1, 2012CD Review: Brad Hammonds Group's 'Greene Street'

Greene Street

Brad Hammonds Group 

Greene Street 

Self-Release

The effervescent world folk music of guitarist Brad Hammonds adds another dimension to the world of music with his fellow bandmates. The folk guitarist composes instrumental guitar jams that are accompanied by cello, banjo, mandolin, bass, and percussion. The lightning fast acoustic picking is top-notch and readily processed by all who listen to it's twinkling melodies. The folk percussion and Brad's 12 and 6-string guitars add a little Appalachian splendor to the mix. The ten tracks represent a lush collection of emotive compositions are fun to listen to and each one reveals something new with every listen. Fans of Ben Bowen King, Bob Brozman, European/Celtic traditions, and instrumental guitar-folk music will love it.

~ Matthew Forss “Inside World Music"

S. Victor Aaron