Follow Your Heart is a solo LP/CD release that was recorded at St. Paul's Church in Sacramento, CA. All of the music was performed live on acoustic resonator and 12 string guitars.
LPs are limited to 500 copies.
Engineered and mixed by John Bologni. Cover photo by Joshua Gregory. Layout by Jason Malmberg.
Special thanks to Linda Michelle Hardy and to St. Paul's Church.
"Follow Your Heart is a deeply transcendental, spiritually moving piece of music."
-Ralph Miriello, Huffington Post
"His fluency as an improviser informs the elegance of the rustic themes that meditate upon place and personal connection..." (4 Stars)
-Bill Meyer, Downbeat
"For his latest recording, Hammond is backed by the reverberations of a more than 100-year old church, taking the rich, ringing tones of six- and twelve-string guitars through an improvised, intimate journey to where the acoustic Americana of John Fahey meets the spiritual."
-Chris Barton, LA Times
"Listening to Follow You Heart by guitarist Ross Hammond bolsters the argument for this thing called faith...a reaffirmation of the human spirit."
-Mark Carroto, All About Jazz
"This new album was recorded in a 1903 Sacramento Church and it sounds amazing."
-Marcus Crowder, Sacramento Bee
"Follow Your Heart: Oh-so-pretty solo resonator guitar improvisations recorded in an old church."
-Lars Gotrich, NPR
"Follow you Heart is a beautifully recorded solo guitar album that channels a certain spiritual and Appalachian music feel."
-Paul Acquaro, Free Jazz Blog
"Hammond channels something deep and spiritual out of his surroundings and instruments. This one is special, listen to it, savor it."
-Aaron Stein, Jambase.com
"Follow Your Heart, the first vinyl release from Ross Hammond is a shimmering beauty."
-Jason Kennedy, The Ear Magazine (UK)
"Ross Hammond once again confirms his immense talent, carving out a place among the great American Primitive guitarists alongside Robbie Basho, John Fahey and Richard Osborn..."
-Roberto Binda, Argonauta Magazine (Italy)
"A single voice (in the form of a guitar) echoing through a church is a powerful salve, a form of salvation in hard times. This music, like the blues and folk sounds that inspired it, is human music. Even without words to guide us, these guitar sounds often feel like the "gospel truth."
-Richard Kamins, Step Tempest blog
"..the music brings to mind long, dusty drives in rural America. It’s contemplative—mournful, even. The record is a response to his daughter asking him if they would continue to be best friends after they died, so maybe that’s why the album sinks right into your gut. It’s not exactly sad, but it’ll pull you out of your world for a while."
-Amy Bee, Sacramento News and Review
"Ross seems to have the blues when this disc opens with a singular slide phrase hanging in the air, cutting through the bullshit...The music here does have a rich, swampy, sly, earthy, eerie sort of vibe. I haven’t heard a solo acoustic guitar record nearly as fine as this in a long time."
-Bruce Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery
"In an easygoing, ‘storytelling’ style that more often than not resembles Appalachian folk music Follow Your Heart is really less about Hammond’s ample guitar chops and more about the mental images and memories it might conjure up."
-S. Victor Aaron, Something Else Reviews
"In truth there isn’t weak tune on this collection, just some great playing from the current standard bearer for a very rare breed."
-Jason Kennedy, The Ear Magazine
"His thoughtful playing on his acoustic guitar is closer to country blues (without necessarily utilizing blues chord changes) than to free jazz. He takes his time during his relaxed solos, embraces melodies, and yet it is never predictable."
-Scott Yanow, LA Jazz Scene newspaper