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The Sapphire Sun

With The Sapphire Sun, David Allen Hammond has created a musical collage that runs the gamut, from tender acoustic statements to literate, Americana rockers. This collection of songs continues Hammond’s exploration of the spiritual underpinnings of human experience and the longing for discovery of what lies beneath the way we construct our world. Hammond’s album evokes the austere beauty of the American Southwest as well as the electric energy of the streets of New York City.

“It is such a pleasure to hear this recording which demonstrates David Hammond’s immense musical range and powerful songwriting”Jimmie Dale Gilmore

The Sapphire Sun was inspired by the poem “Dear Sapphire Sun” by Jeanie Putnam, whose etheric harmonies grace several of these recordings. This is David’s follow-up to “Life lines” which was recorded in Austin, Texas 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 wholistic 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 guitar-oriented tunes that let Hammond stretch out and 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 approaches this recording. ("Oracle of the Winter's Dream") is a folk-rocker, but it's heart is a poetic lyric written with David’s friends, Noah Shapiro, Maggie Dubris and Jeanie Putnam. This group writes a song each 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 guitars, basses, 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 (recorded by Bradley Kopp), Mark Dudrow on cello and Justin Dean on violin. Mike T. Lewis and MaryBeth Zamer of The Twangtown Paramours contributed to background vocals as well as Jeanie Putnam of New York and several singers from Chama, New Mexico. The result is a rough-edged, to the heart album that showcases Hammond’s songwriting, singing and playing skills.

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