Ross Hammond, “You Are My Sunshine,” from Flight (2015): Something Else! exclusive stream

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From the orchestral sweep of the Humanity Sweep sextet to the guitar/drums tête-à-tête that frames Blues and Daily News, Ross Hammond quickly peels off the layers to expose the soul of his music until there’s nothing left but an acoustic guitar for his latest release Flight, out on April 14, 2015 (Prescott Recordings).

A collection of hymns, old ditties and some originals, much is revealed from Hammond’s earthbound perspective of songs handed down for generations, and Jimmie Davis’ “You Are My Sunshine” is a case in point. The rays of sunshine emanate from Hammond’s guitar not with bright beams but with a warm glow in the details of his fingerpicked guitar, just we often find the radiance from small, everyday things. That’s exemplified in the exclusive video above, where Hammond captured little moments of his family life.

Just the same, he captured the spirit of life’s little treasures hidden in plain sight with his interpretation of the late Louisiana governor’s traditional tune. Most of his three minute performance is a motif he attached to the beginning, unfolding into Davis’ uplifting melody but framed by shades of the long intro.

Truly new takes on songs that old is what can make a cover worth listening to time and again. Ross Hammond did just that with “You Are My Sunshine,” simply by refashioning the song to conform with his own familial outlook.

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron

S. Victor Aaron is an SQL demon for a Fortune 100 company by day, music opinion-maker at night. His musings are strewn out across the interwebs on jazz.com, AllAboutJazz.com, a football discussion board and some inchoate customer reviews of records from the late 1990s on Amazon under a pseudonym that will never be revealed. E-mail him at svaaron@somethingelsereviews .com or follow him on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SVictorAaron
S. Victor Aaron
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  • This is so, so beautiful. Never have seen a video quite that intimate, but heavy, but sweet.

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