BlueSoul

by Dov Hammer

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about

“Dov Hammer’s singing is heartfelt and moving. Impossible not be drawn to his voice. His harmonica playing fits the music like a glove. This is not a player who relies on repeating previously recorded licks by other harp masters. He works on his craft, on his tone, and on his unique phrasings. He has his own signature sound.” – Pierre LaCocque , "Mississippi heat"



Welcome to the Blue Soul of Dov Hammer - and get ready for some some hipshakin’, heartbreakin’, earthquakin’ Blues!
For almost 30 years Dov Hammer has plied his trade as singer, songwriter and harmonica player in various bands such as The Blues Rebels, CG & The Hammer and the Daily Blues, as well as backing top notch artists such as Joe Louis Walker, Lucky Peterson, Bernard Allison and many others.
Now comes “BlueSoul”, Dov Hammer’s new album, the first recorded under his own name since 2004’s “Going deep”. While that album was strictly stripped -down, raw acoustic Blues, “BlueSoul” is a bubbling pot of Blues gumbo - a variety of styles ranging from Chicago to New Orleans, from traditional to modern and all points in between, all anchored by Hammer’s soulful vocals, soaring harmonica and unique songwriting. The songs deal with love and loss, going through challenges and changes and enduring trials and tribulations with grit and determination and some hard earned humor...
The album kicks off with classic Chicago -style Blues shuffle in “Make it count”, then immediately heads south for some New orleans “second line” party music in “I’m gone”
Some heavy blues-rock is at play on “Find a way” and “Magic” (featuring the fantastic lap-steel slide of Ori Beanstock), while Hammer features his chromatic harmonica on the tongue-in-cheek, jump-Blues of “Bad luck charm”
“The fighting Blues” is a stark, Skip James -style Delta Blues, while “Tear it down” rocks and rolls like a freight train rumbling through the Mississippi night…then a brief stylistic detour into country-rock as Hammer and special guest Assaf Rozov pay homage to their late friend and mentor “King” Earnest Baker on “King”.
“Dance the Blues” is another Chicago Blues, paying tribute to the slow grinding pleasure of the Blues dancers.
“Taking my time” is a raunchy, semi-electronic Bluesy love song, then the album signs off with the autobiographical title track, a melding of Blues and hip-hop featuring Dov Hammer’s daughter Naomi Jo Hammer on the soul chorus.

Thanks and praise
Special thanks to Tzafrir Lichtenstein - a great musician, a fine drummer and the best friend a man could ask for. Without him this album might not have been made

Thanks to all the musicians who put their heart, soul and talent into my music, to Sarit Kleinman for great video clips, to Tal Fogel for beautiful art and to Ma’ayan Bar Yoel for wise advice and guidance - I am truly blessed to have such gifted friends!

Finally - much love to my best friend, my soulmate and my favorite person in the world, Michal Drori, and to our wonderful daughters, Naomi Jo, Shira and Ronnie Hammer. You are the best.

This album is dedicated to the memory of two legendary musicians who I was blessed to meet, play with and learn from early in my career. I wouldn't be the same artist without the lessons I learned from these great men who were taken from us much too soon and never achieved the fame and success they deserved:

King Earnest (Earnest Baker ,1939-2000) was one of the great unsung heroes of the Blues, an amazing singer, dancer and performer and an exceptional human being. God bless you, King, wherever you are, I learned so much from you about singing, performing, and living. The song “King” is dedicated to his memory.

Paul deLay (1952-2007) was one of the greatest , most innovative harmonica players to ever walk the earth - but he was much more: a great singer, songwriter, and performer . It was a joy to spend time with him,and I learned so much from him about being honest in your art, and about being part of a musical tradition while avoiding cliches at the same time...RIP

credits

released July 10, 2019

All songs written by Dov Hammer
Produced by Dov Hammer © & (P)
Co-producers: Tzafrir Lichtenstein (songs 2,3,4,5,10)
Amir Hacohen (Song 11)

Songs 2,3,4,5,10 recorded by Tzafrir Lichtenstein and mixed by Ori Beanstock
Song 6, 9 recorded and mixed by Matan Ashkenazy
Songs 1, 7, 8 recorded and mixed by Shlomo Deshet
Song 11 recorded and mixed by Amir Hacohen
Mastering by Shlomo Deshet

Cover art and design by Taloosh

Musicians (check track credits for song by song details)

Dov Hammer - vocals, harmonica

Drummers: Tzafrir Lichtenstein, Nir Segal
Bass players: Amos Springer, Oren Laor
Guitarists: Yair Fine, Gil Katzir, Danny Manor, Ori Beanstock, Assaf Rozov
Lap Steel guitar - Ori Beanstock
Keyboards: Kfir Tzairi, Amir Hacohen
Backing vocals: Naomi Jo Hammer, Assaf Rozov
Percussion: Tzafrir Lichtenstein, Shlomo Deshet, Nir Segal
Electronic effects - Amir Hacohen, Tzafrir Lichtenstein


Special guest vocalist: Assaf Rozov (track 8)

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about

Dov Hammer Israel

Dov Hammer has been at the forefront of the Blues scene in Israel for nearly 3 decades. He was the leader of "The Blues Rebels","The Daily Blues" and "CG & The Hammer". "BlueSoul" is his 9th album (including 7 with those bands). He has appeared across Europe and the USA, and shared stages with some of the greatest living Blues artists, including Joe Louis Walker, Jimmy Johnson and Lucky Peterson ... more

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Track Name: Make it count
Make it count

I’ve been to the mountaintop, seen the promised land
Time and again the gods laughed at my plans
You might knock me down, but don’t ever think I’m out
Whatever I do , I got to make it count

Snake-oil salesmen ,fool me once ,shame on me
Grinning in my face, thinking I can’t see
Well Karma is a nasty witch, she don’t fool around
If you want to take a shot at me , better make it count

Win , lose or draw, none of this will last
The scores get lost and forgotten in the misty past

Write another chapter for the book, that’s what it’s about
You got to get the story right, and make it count

When God created time, he sure made a lot
I’m gonna use all mine, taking my best shot
Up or down , wheels turning round and round
Everything I do, gonna make it count
Track Name: I'm Gone
I'm Gone

A change is due, I need something new
Time for a brand new song
Stop reading the news, get back to the Blues
Before anyone sees that I'm gone
Time speeds up, time slows down
But it never waits for no-one
You got a lifetime of being old, just a moment of being young
I spent too many sleepless nights wondering what went wrong
I'm gone, I’m gone
I done stayed around here way too long
I'm gone, I’m gone
I done stayed around here way too long


Spent more money then a millionaire,
I could've owned half the town
Drank enough whiskey to fill the sea,
But I never quite did drown
Mama said you're on the wrong path, son,
Papa – he just frowned
I ran through the red lights full speed ahead,
And never once looked down
Life on the edge has a charm all of its own
I'm gone, I’m gone
I done stayed around here way too long
I'm gone, I’m gone
I done stayed around here way too long


Against all odds I'm still in the game
But even water grinds down a stone
It gets so crowded on the gravy train
But you pay the price all alone
All of my fair weather friends have flown, taken off for parts unknown
Left me standing all alone
in my glass house,
throwing stones
The earth just keeps on turning while you’re staring at your phone...
I'm gone,I’m gone
I done stayed around here way too long

I'm gone, I'm gone,
I done stayed around here
I’ve been laying around here
whined and complained around here way too long
Track Name: Find a way
Find a way

I keep losing my temper, slamming fists against the wall
Been clutching at straws, trying to stop this free fall
I’m having crazy dreams, I’m wide awake before dawn
Got a hole in my soul, feeling battered and torn

So if I fly off the handle, please understand that I’m trying
I just got to find a way to get a little bit of peace of mind

25 Years gone by , the time sure flies
Ten thousand cups of coffee, six thousand hours overtime
Now the lights have been dimmed, silence echoes through these halls
I’ll be gone by November and no one will remember us at all

You know I’m ain’t sentimental, that ain’t a tear in my eye
I just got to find a way to hold a smile through this long goodbye

I got a fine loving woman, so sweet and wise
Shines a light through my darkness, pulls the wool off my eyes
So I make sure to count my blessings , it’s a daily routine
I Keep my eyes on the horizon, and try to wipe the slate clean

But you can’t unring a bell, can’t unsay what’s been said
I just got to find a way to drown out these voices in my head
Track Name: Magic
MAGIC

All through the night all through the day
The way she moves the way she sways
I just can't say why I can't explain
It feels so right it feels so wrong and it feels insane

Here she comes in through the door
I see her walking across the floor
She's an island of calm in the eye of the storm
I just want a little more….of that magic

The sound of her voice, the swing of her hips
The scent of her skin, the smile on her lips
Time stands still when I look in her eyes
I got a grin on my face, blood starts to race, and my tongue's getting tied

I don't want to hold her hand
I don't need her to understand
I don't have any long-term plans
I just want a little taste …. of that magic

All the other men in town
Just want to chase her down
I don't mind 'cause she loves my sound
She just wants a little bit of my….magic
Together we make magic…
Track Name: Bad luck charm
Bad luck charm

Feels like I'm playing with crooked dice
I've been taking all the wrong advice
I'm the only one that lightning strikes twice
Feeling like I’m born to lose
You’re my bad luck charm,My bad luck charm
You’re my bad luck charm and I think it’s time to cut you loose

You smile at babies and they start to cry
You drive my car and the battery dies
We went to a party and to my surprise
The police came and shut it down
You're my bad luck charm, you're my bad luck charm
You're my bad luck charm , it's bad luck just to have you around

Seems like all we ever do is fight
Nothing ever seems to turn out right
You got me so I can’t sleep at night
I’ve had enough and I believe -
You’re my bad luck charm,My bad luck charm
You’re my bad luck charm and I think it’s time for me to leave

I wish I never met you at all
I curse the phone every time you call
I gotta run , or fly, even crawl
Get out before I get stuck
You’re my bad luck charm,My bad luck charm
You’re my bad luck charm and it’s time for me to change my luck
Track Name: The fighting Blues
The Fighting Blues
I’m like a losing fighter, been knocked down for the count
Got to get back on my feet, and fight another round
But I been hit so hard , just want to stay down on the ground

They say the darkest hour is just before dawn
And they say what doesn't kill you, will only make you strong
They say everything happens for a reason - but you know they could be wrong

My eyes are on the prize
I try not to despair
Blues is my one true faith
I know she’ll take me there

I lost my job, the future’s in a haze
Been kicked to the curb, discarded and disgraced
Can’t say what’s on my mind, I don’t think too straight these days

She sleeps like a child
Her conscience is clean
I watch her through the night
And I think of all my sins

She tells me not to worry, everything's gonna be alright
I sing her name in the morning, thank the gods for her each night
With you in my corner baby, I can win most any fight
Track Name: Tear it down
Tear it down
You know I’m leaving baby , won’t be coming back
Can’t take the way you treat me, can’t stand the way you act
You thought I was your fool, lying all the time
Let me tell you baby, good fools are hard to find

I know we had some good times, but that was way back when
Going to tear it down now, and start all over again

I don’t hate you baby, you know I wish you well
Why we never made it , you know I just can’t tell
I’ve heard your jive too many times, I ain’t listening no more
That story don’t mean nothing , as I’m walking out the door

Big grin on my face now, big weight off my chest
I’m gonna tear it down now, and start all over again


Been worried such a long time, confused and all alone
I didn't want to face it, break up my happy home
I know this is a hard road, with a heavy price to pay
Now my mind is made up, and I’m on my merry way

I ain’t looking back now, I got no regrets
Time to tear it down now, and start all over again
Track Name: Dov Hammer & Assaf Rozov - King
KING
Dedicated to the memory of “King” Earnest Baker RIP (1939-2000)

He was born in Mississippi, but they could not keep him down
When he made it to Chicago, he was the hottest man in town
Worked a day job in LA, but he never lost his faith
Because he knew that the Blues will always find a way

And your hips would shake, your heart would break
He’d rock your soul every time he’d sing
And I can’t forget the day
That I first saw him play - and I knew that Earnest was a King

Time stood still when he performed, it was magic when he danced,
Played each show as though he knows that it might be his last
Always sharp-dressed ,giving his best, in a full house or empty room
You always felt like Earnest was singing just for you

And he had a smile, could light up the room,
He walked with grace and quiet dignity
I never saw him raise his voice,he never lost his cool
Because Earnest had the soul of a King

He never made million bucks or the Hollywood walk of fame
Never cracked the big time, but he’s a legend just the same
He lived the Blues and triumphed without anger or despair
And I’m grateful for the fortune of the short time that we shared

After all these years, I still smile
Every time I think of my friend King
He left us way too soon, finally got his wings
Now the angels get to hear King Earnest sing
Track Name: Dance the Blues
Dance the Blues

No need to hurry, take your time
Take all the worry from your mind
Just relax enjoy the groove
Tonight we’re gonna dance the Blues

Despair comes seeping through the cracks
Hard to separate lies from facts
Can’t tell the satire from the news
Just keep it real and dance the Blues

Your soul is weary your heart feels bound
Just want to lay your burden down
Just lift your head , kick off your shoes
Come on down and dance the Blues

I think of all the wrong I’ve done
Of battles lost and friendships gone
But when your pride is badly bruised
Just come on down and dance the Blues
Track Name: Taking my time
Taking my time

Making love in the middle of the morning
Stay up all night drinking red wine
Let the phone ring, I ain't taking no calls
I'm just sitting here taking my time

Baby smiles and says to me
"You’re my number one guy tonight
Might even keep you all through the weekend
I like the way you're taking your time"

Some day when I'm old and grey
Thinking back on the days of my life
I might forget all the hurrying and worrying
But I'll be glad that I took my time

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