Published Oct 24, 2014Rough and ready, Blues and Daily News exemplifies the work-with-present-opportunities approach that is the daily reality of improvising musicians worldwide. Guitarist Ross Hammond hooked up at a distance with drummer Grant Calvin Weston, whose work with Ornette Coleman and James Blood Ulmer is well known — a rapport was there. Weston's Dining Room Sessions, in which he sent drum tracks to various musicians to respond to, resulted in a response from Hammond that the two felt they should pursue.
This DIY disc is the evidence of their pursuit. "This is What Happens When You Burn My Coffee" is plain funky, but the guitar injects little figures that hint at a tincture of Middle Eastern bloodlines in this blues. Some bits are scruffy, as a few guitar runs in "The Big Dipper" are probably sloppier than intended, quite unlike Hammond's precise, dexterous execution on the uptempo "Wing Ting." "Blue Teeth and Squackl" is folkloric, as simple, insistent slide Dobro-sounding riffing meshes nicely with Weston's grounded backing. "Little Melon Head" has a moment of transcendent beauty, as harp-like acoustic chording outstrips the other decent music that surrounds it. Hammond and Weston make their reality work for their music. (Prescott)