The Curse of KK Hammond’s “Death Roll Blues” is a haunting and mesmerizing debut album that fuses traditional acoustic blues with Southern Gothic horror. With her soulful voice and mastery of the resophonic guitar, Hammond delivers a powerful and captivating performance that pays homage to the rich history of blues while also forging her own unique sound.
The album opens with the title track, “Death Roll Blues,” which sets the tone for the rest of the record. The song’s eerie call and response structure, combined with Hammond’s haunting vocals, immediately draws the listener in and sets the stage for the dark journey ahead.
Throughout the album, Hammond’s guitar playing is impeccable, seamlessly blending intricate melodies with raw emotion. On tracks like “Anhedonia” and “The Bone Collector,” her playing takes on a hypnotic quality, mirroring the themes of pain, struggle, and inner turmoil that run throughout the lyrics.
But it’s not just Hammond’s musical abilities that make this album so compelling. Her songwriting is equally impressive, drawing on Southern Gothic imagery and personal experiences to create a rich and nuanced narrative. She sings about a haunting dream where she’s “drowning in the dark” and calls out for someone to “save me from this swamp’s cruel embrace.” In this song, as well as others on the album, Hammond expertly uses familiar gothic elements to convey her own struggles and fears.
One of the standout tracks on the album is “In the Dirty South,” a powerful and gut-wrenching song about south of the Mason Dixon line. With its sparse instrumentation and raw vocals, the song truly showcases Hammond’s vocal range and emotive abilities.
“Death Roll Blues” is a true testament to Hammond’s talent and dedication to the blues genre. With her blend of traditional acoustic blues and Southern Gothic influences, she has created a truly unique and captivating sound that is both haunting and beautiful. This album is a must-listen for anyone who appreciates the power and depth of the blues.