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John Hammond and his Wicked Grin Band: The Borderline, London, 27th April

Tim Clifford, Rock's Backpages, May 2002

BY INJECTING a dose of blues into a collection of Tom Waits tunes, John Hammond created his most satisfying and critically acclaimed album in years, Wicked Grin. So there's a spring in his step when he leads his band of veterans touring the record on to the Borderline's tiny stage. From the opening notes of 2:19, these guys – Augie Meyer on keyboards and accordion, Frank Carillo on guitar, Larry Taylor on bass and Stephen Hodges on drums – prove that less is more. A band this tight can play as swampy as you like and as taut and angular as you please – and they do.

Total word count of piece: 264

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