Another Side of Ham (Harmonica Ham-Independent)

Harmonica Ham 

Another Side of Ham (Harmonica Ham-Independent)

It's difficult to take a guy seriously when he's named Harmonica Ham. Then again, it's hard to critically disembowel a guy named Harmonica Ham. Particularly when Hamilton "Ham" Kirkland's latest album is made up mostly of cover tunes made sort of famous by the likes of Hank Williams and Junior Brown. OK, it's not that hard. Turns out, Harmonica Ham isn't just a clever name. Kirkland is a two-time national harmonica champion who honed his skills during the long hours he spent on that lonesome road working as a truck driver. You have to hand it to the guy -- he sure does blow. Ham's harmonica is in fine form on the "Little Bitty Pretty One/Rockin' Robin" medley as well as on two originals on Another Side, the up-tempo "Shawnee Shuffle" and the lethargic "Ham's Slow Walk." Kirkland and his band handle the covers, such as "Six Days on the Road" and "Lost Highway," adequately. It's all harmless, humming harmonica and squealing, steel-guitar fun. Another Side is by far the best album of the year featuring a harmonica-playing, truck-driving barbecue-sauce salesman named after a pork by-product.

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