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Published:March 27th, 2007 10:14 EST
The Strokes' Guitarist Launches Solo Career

The Strokes' Guitarist Launches Solo Career

By Jessica Baird

Albert Hammond, Jr. rocks music city

Contrary to rumors within the music world, the garage rock revivalists The Strokes are not over. In their off time, however, their rhythm guitarist Albert Hammond, Jr.`s solo career is off to a critically acclaimed start.

During his performance at Nashville`s Exit/In on Sunday evening, Hammond played nearly every track off of his brilliantly breezy debut album Yours to Keep.

Considering that Hammond is not the lead singer or main lyricist for the New York based rock `n roll heroes The Strokes, (that title belongs to Julian Casablancas), or the member that dated Hollywood A-lister Drew Barrymore, (drummer Fabrizio Moretti wears that crown), it was especially nice to see one of the `other guys` take center stage.

For the several hundred hipsters in attendance, Hammond`s performance was as quick and as pleasing as his album. In just over an hour, Hammond, along with a skilled four piece backing band, ripped through twelve melodic and rollicking tunes, including the fuzz-tinged show opener "Everyone Gets a Star."

The son of a popular singer songwriter in the 1970s, Hammond was practically born with a Fender guitar in his hand. Aside from the critical accolades and sold out venues that greet The Strokes across the globe, Hammond never expected to branch out as a solo artist.

"I went in to record a song, and I liked it, so I recorded another," he said in a recent interview published in SPIN magazine. "On the eighth song, I realized I had a record."

Although a full-fledged LP might not have initially been on the radar for the curly haired guitarist, it has certainly delighted everyone from the critical elite to the devout fans of The Strokes.

David Fricke, a senior editor at Rolling Stone magazine, called Hammond`s debut Yours to Keep, "an album to fall in love with."

This adoration definitely trickled down to Hammond`s fans in music city on Sunday night. Bobbing their heads and singing along, the attendees soaked up the sun drenched, sweet sounding tunes.

While alternating sips from a cup of Jagermeister to a bottle of beer, Hammond personified the rock `n roll archetype of decades past. When keyboardist and backing guitarist Marc Eskenazi told the crowd about an after party, Hammond did not miss a beat and responded, "The party`s right here dude." Spoken like a true rock `n roller.