Cover me

John Hammond has made a living interpreting other people’s songs. The Rolling Stones, Billie Holiday and Muddy Waters are some of the artists he’s covered over his four-decade career. After 29 albums, the musician has finally recorded an original composition, “Slick Crown Vic,” which can be heard on his latest album, Ready for Love. Hammond’s gift is turning other artists’ music into his own. He’s regarded among contemporaries as an American roots music treasure. The son of Columbia Records music scout John Hammond Sr., the junior Hammond had his start in Greenwich Village, N.Y., in the 1960s. He honed his craft working, or crossing paths, with musicians like John Lee Hooker, Dr. John and Jimi Hendrix, earning a reputation as a master of American roots music. Singer Tom Waits (whose songs Hammond covered on his 2001 album Wicked Grin) praised Hammond when he told Rolling Stone: "[He] knows such a rich pageantry of American music. My songs É [are] just a smidgen of what he knows." Hammond performs May 23 at Barkley Theatre at the Oats Park Art Center, 151 E. Park St., Fallon. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15. Call (775) 423-1440 for details.