John Hammond will on March 17 kick off a tour in support of "Wicked Grin," his forthcoming Pointblank/Virgin album. As previously reported, the album -- due March 13 -- was produced by Tom Waits, and

John Hammond will on March 17 kick off a tour in support of "Wicked Grin," his forthcoming Pointblank/Virgin album. As previously reported, the album -- due March 13 -- was produced by Tom Waits, and is largely comprised of Waits' songs.

The band, dubbed John Hammond's Wicked Grin, includes several musicians who appear on the album -- keyboardist Augie Meyers, bassist Larry Taylor, drummer/percussionist Stephen Hodges -- with the addition of guitarist Frank Carillo. Others who guested on the album, including blues harmonica great Charlie Musselwhite and Waits, will not be on the tour.

The tour will open in Austin, Texas, as part of the annual South By Southwest music festival, which, incidentally, is where Waits reintroduced himself as a live performer prior to the release of 1999's "Mule Variations" (Epitaph). Hammond's tour will wrap with an April 7 show at Philadelphia's Theatre Of Living Arts.

Hammond has been on the road on an acoustic tour that plays Virginia Beach, Va., tomorrow (Feb. 17) and Shirley, Mass., on March 3. Following the tour with Wicked Grin, he's also scheduled to appear June 3 at the Western Maryland Blues Festival in Hagerstown, Md.

Here are tour dates for John Hammond's Wicked Grin:
March 17: Austin, Texas (Continental Club)
March 18: San Juan Capistrano, Calif. (Coach House)
March 19: Los Angeles (Knitting Factory)
March 20: Solana Beach, Calif. (the Belly-Up)
March 21: San Francisco (Great American Music Hall)
March 23: Portland, Ore. (Hollywood Theater)
March 24: Seattle (Experience Music Project)
March 25: Vancouver (the Yale)
March 28: Denver (Gothic Theatre)
March 30: Minneapolis (Cedar Cultural Center)
March 31: Chicago (Martyr's)
April 1: Ann Arbor, Mich. (the Ark)
April 2: Toronto (Horseshoe)
April 4: Cambridge, Mass. (House Of Blues)
April 5: New York (Joe's Pub)
April 6: Alexandria, Va. (Birchmere)
April 7: Philadelphia (Theatre Of Living Arts))

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