Hammond Gamble: Recollection
By Andrew Healey
This reflective offering from one of NZ's finest singer/guitarists, displays the acoustic guitar at its understated best: raw, pure and honest. Gamble is proof aplenty that white men really can play the blues. This 12-song album was recorded by Rikki Morris at The Bus in Devonport, Auckland. It is the first Kiwi offering from the Liberation Blue Acoustic Series - in which established singer/songwriters record acoustic versions from their back catalogues. Australian artists already out include Ian Moss, Mark Seymour and James Reyne. Gamble is reunited here with old-time Street Talk guitarist Mike Coen. Other well-known musos to lend a hand include veteran session drummer Gordon Joll, vocalist Debbie Harwood and bassist Neil Hannan. There isn't a dud track on this album. Favourites for me include If You've Got Love Give Me Some - a song recorded by Joe Cocker, Silver Scroll award winner Midnight, and the down and dirty Long Night Blues - consisting of just two dueling acoustic guitars. If you appreciate soulful singing and guitar playing, get this.