The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #27241   Message #3488974
Posted By: GUEST,ozzie knopf
10-Mar-13 - 10:31 PM
Thread Name: Lyr Req: Flight 641 (Lawrence Hammond)
Subject: RE: Lyr Req: Flight 641 (Lawrence Hammond)
I have had 3 of Hammond's songs in my repertoire since the 70's: "Tornado's Coming Down," "Tumbleweed Plantation" and "Light as a Coyote's Dream." I actually learned Tornado and Empty Rails from his "Coyote's Dream" LP. I used to play "George Gudger's Overall" but forgot the words and lost the lyric sheet that was the sleeve for the vinyl disc (mine is worn and scratchy but still plays--his website indicatea the CD can be purchased from there. I can agree with the chords to "Tornado" that BR Dalton has entered in an earlier post. I had been wondering what became of Lawrence, but sort of quit trying to find out what a few years ago.

I recognized him (grayer hair and a few more wrinkles since I saw him at one of what must have been one of his last live performances in Northhampton, MA in about 1977) about 3 weeks ago in a guitar shop in Missoula. This was because I was struck by the guitar style of someone playing an aisle over. Peered around and there he was. Asked him what he was up to, and was astonished to find he has been an MD the last 29 years, but if had had known about this website I would have been in the know. Since he mentioned a CD of previously-unreleased songs was recently released, I went online to find more. I appreciate all of the info other fans have put about him into Mudcat. I also found an apparently new website about his music which came up when googling him (with an interesting section about the rock group Mad River). Lyrics to some songs are posted there too..

Lawrence said he is living and practicing medicine in Hamilton, MT, within an hour's drive of Missoula, and is starting to perform a bit again. What intrigued me was that he said he is still writing and has accumulated more than a CD worth of unrecorded material. I always thought his imagery and his ear for rural American speech made his songwriting unique among songwriters working the Americana lode. Songs were always just real visual, and the melodies just unusual and adventurous enough to catch your ear, while still keeping a foot in the Cowboy-Country-Bluegrass vein. He still gets together to pick with David Robinson, the amazing lead guitarist from Mad River, and Rick Bockner Mad River rhythm guitarist, who has released several albums is hands-down the finest ragtime guitarist still around. For those who have not heard Bockner it is worth seeking out his gigs and CDs.

I asked about "Tumbleweed Plantation" and another great one of his called "Papa Redwing Blackbird" and found these are on the new CD. Apparently the "Papa Redwing" version is not a studio cut. These 2 alone will be worth the price.

This website is great! Learned a whole lot tonight about other artists I've been wondering about.