The Curse of K.K. Hammond’s new single, ‘In the Pines’, will be out on all digital platforms – 12/3/21. She is working on an EP for late 2021 release
K.K. Hammond is a slide guitarist and singer-songwriter. She takes her influences from the Delta players of the 1930s – Skip James, Robert Johnson, Charlie Patton etc – and from the roots music of Appalachia and its ancestors.
K.K’s debut single, The Ballad of Blue Docherty – which channelled the vibe of the swamp – was well-received, and garnered airplay on the Cerys Matthews BBC Radio 2 Blues Show. Her new single, a version of the 19th Century folk song, In the Pines, gets a digital-only release on March 12th.
London-born, K.K. took an interest in guitar, Americana and the Blues from an early age and spent some years exploring the back-roads of the USA. Eventually she settled in the English countryside of Buckinghamshire, where she works with horses. A self-professed hermit living in an isolated spot in the woods, K.K. enjoys exploring the wilderness surrounding her home to seek inspiration for her song writing. Given where she lives, a reimagining of In The Pines, is a natural choice.
“I first heard Kurt Cobain’s version, but it was definitely Lead Belly’s that affected me the most. It’s his lyric arrangement I use, with some minor tweaks. I chose the song because I was mesmerised by its tremendous history and the fact that it’s so beautiful and yet so profoundly sorrowful. I love how its true origin is unknown and that it harks back to at least the 1870s. It adds to the mystery and feels as if it’s amassed many ghosts over the years. Apparently there have been nigh on 200 recordings of the song as Where Did You Sleep Last Night?, Black Girl, The Longest Train and, In The Pines.
“There is something so deeply captivating and haunting to me about old folklore that gets passed down through the generations. The frightened girl spending a harrowing night in a forest on her own. I wonder why? Who was the poor fella’s whose head found in a locomotive’s driving wheel many moons ago? These are enthralling stories and images: a little window into the despair, loneliness, sexuality and tragedy of these unfortunate souls.”
“I wanted to create a video to do justice to this beautiful darkness. I’ve a life-long passion for horror movies, so the concept was a combination of American Gothic, with a sprinkling of English Pagan weirdness. I procured a phenomenally creepy hessian mask from Crooked Crow Masks, and thus the Woodland Rabbit Demon was born. 3d Planet Props provided an equally striking deer skull mask for the murderous Wendigo character.”
“It was shot in the woodlands surrounding my home. My good friend Justin Ramell used his drone flying skills to capture some truly epic footage, which belied the shoestring budget.”
“I play my Mule Resophonic Tricone in the bridge solo of the video. I’m obsessed with Resonator Guitars especially my customised, one-of-a-kind, steel National Resophonic guitar, ‘Dark Sister.’ I’m also a huge fan of Mule Resophonic Guitars and play a steel tricone and a Mulecaster hollow body steel electric.”
“I hope I’ve added one more worthy conceptual metamorphosis to the song.”