The follow-up to the 2001 set Wicked Grin—John Hammond's acclaimed collection of Tom Waits songs, produced by Waits—sees the veteran blues singer/guitarist in his most eclectic setting y

The follow-up to the 2001 set Wicked Grin—John Hammond's acclaimed collection of Tom Waits songs, produced by Waits—sees the veteran blues singer/guitarist in his most eclectic setting yet. Hammond essays another pair of Waits songs ("Gin-Soaked Boy," "Low Side of the Road"), a couple by producer David Hidalgo (of Los Lobos), a brace of vintage country tunes (including two by George Jones), an early Stones number ("The Spider and the Fly"), and the jazz standard "Comes Love," along with such characteristic blues interpretations as his late-night take on Willie Dixon's "Same Thing." Yet the highlight of Ready for Love is the lead track, Hammond's first-ever solo composition—"Crown Vic," a virile, vintage-style blues bursting with personality. He is backed by a crack, hard-groovin' band, and like bourbon, his voice only gets more seductively potent with age.—BB

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