Review by Fred Rudofsky
Photographs by Ed Conway
Hamell on Trial, the one-man dynamo, brought his arsenal of brilliant songs, disarmingly funny jokes and stream of consciousness asides, to the Low Beat for a memorable set opening for Bloodshot Bill. It was a peaceful Thursday night riot few will ever forget.
Plugging his ’37 acoustic into an amplifier stack taller than he was, Hamell introduced himself by applying a one-two squeegee wipe to the audience’s occluded third eye with “A Little Concerned, That’s All” (a wild metaphysical ride, for certain) and the grotesque but all-too-true drug stories of “When You are Young,” set to an indelible Yiddish melody and sung off the microphone to draw the audience in. “I’m velcro for some weird really shit,” quipped Hamell, before he offered up, “Seven Seas,” a vivid ode to how he found his beloved guitar in a pawn shop.