CHAMA, NM, February 21, 2014 /24-7PressRelease/ -- "The Sapphire Sun" was recorded in Chama, New Mexico, a tiny village in the foothills of the Rockies. Hammond spent four months recording at his home away-from-home, Spyderman Studios, built in 2006 in the basement of the Cumbers Mall, a collection of art galleries and gift shops that cater to the tourists who head up to the high country to enjoy the cool, mountain air or ride the Cumbres and Toltec steam train.---
This is David's first album since "Life lines" which was recorded in Austin at Congress House Studio by Mark Hallman and produced by Glen Kawamoto. "Life lines" included five songs co-written with Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Hammond's writing partner of many years. David has contributed to several of Gilmore's albums (two of which received Grammy nominations), as well as many artists in all genres from Texas, New York, Tennessee, Virginia and points between.
For this project Hammond took the helm as producer and engineer, opting for a holistic approach to the recording; allowing the lyrics to drive the arrangements and instrument choices. The Sapphire Sun is comprised of 14 original or co-written songs and one cover "Junk" by Tom Proutt who also co-wrote "Pegleg John", a sweeping tale of murder and revenge driven by cello, baritone resonator and acoustic guitar. "Faster Than the Sun", a country-tinged examination of the cost of love is a haunting example of David's skill as a lyricist. "Legal-Safe-Free", a rocking blues number, and "Viper's Tooth" are very guitar-oriented tunes that let Hammond stretch out and solo.
Anyone who has seen Hammond perform knows that he is excited by a variety of musical styles and that interest is reflected in the way he approached this recording. Of course his voice is the one constant in all the tunes, but David was able choose songs with styles and lyrical content that are not easy to catagorize. "Oracle of the Winter's Dream" is a folk-rocker, but it's heart is a poetic lyric written with Hammond's friends, Noah Shapiro, Maggie Dubris and Jeanie Putnam. This group of friends write a song every year for the Poetry Project's New Year's Day Marathon, an all-day reading and performance in New York City that brings out writers as diverse as Patti Smith, Anne Waldman, Phillip Glass, Yoshiko Chuma and Steve Earle. Also included are two other songs from this collaborative group; "Viper's Tooth", a highly rhythmic rocker with an Irish feel, and "Time Out of Memory" an acoustic tone poem.
As well as engineering, Hammond played all the guitars, basses and some ambient sounds and hand percussion for the sessions. The inventive Andy Spall played drums and the bulk of the hand percussion. A few associates rounded out the musical mixture; David Webb of Austin on Hammond organ, Mark Dudrow on cello and Justin Dean on violin. Mike T. Lewis and MaryBeth Zamer of Nashville contributed to background vocals as well as Jeanie Putnam of New York and several singers from Chama, New Mexico. The result is a wide-ranging yet cohesive album that showcases Hammond's songwriting, singing and playing skills.
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