I'm a big fan of John Hammond but I don't have many of his CDs. The CDs I do have are mostly him with a band, and I feel like he's more in his element when he's playing solo with an acoustic and a harmonica rack. That is what he's got going on this album, but this is a 20 year old John Hammond making his first CD and it sounds nothing like the later/current John Hammond who I'm more familiar with. That being said, young John Hammond is good too.
This album sounds strongly of the sixties to me; Hammond's voice reminds me of Canned Heat's vocalist, and his guitar style on the fast songs reminds me of Richie Havens' Woodstock performance. But once I stopped expecting old John Hammond to come out of the speaker I got to really enjoy the sound of young John Hammond. This album has raw energy and feeling and I enjoy it very much.
Two more things I would have liked to know before buying, besides the fact that young John Hammond is a different animal, is that on the Hoochie Coochie Man track, Hammond sings and plays harmonica and there is no guitar. I've never cared for that, but that's just my opinion. Also, he doesn't play any bottleneck and the entire album, which is one of my favorite things about Hammond's sound; I got this album because I wanted to hear him play Crossroad Blues and I was a little disappointed that he didn't use a slide.
But again, I like this album very much. It's raw, emotional, and real blues. If you forget about current John Hammond and open your mind to young John Hammond I think you'll be pleasantly surprised.