Adam Hammer and Dave Cofell
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Adam Hammer and Dave Cofell

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Adam Hammer & the Impact was voted "Band of the Month" during Rockin' 101.7's Minnesota Homegrown listeners' poll for June 2011. Songs from the band's "Let It Burn" EP will air during each week's show for the month and the band will be featured at www.rockin101.com. - WHMH Rockin' 101.7


Minnesota-born folk musician Adam Hammer’s newest blues EP, “Let it Burn”, is a change of pace from his last release, “Tattooed Folk”.

Hammer was born in Henning, Minn., but musically, he was born during his yearlong excursion into the heart of Tennessee, where he traveled and played with the locals of Nashville. Upon his return to Minnesota, Hammer collaborated with Doug Yorgason in the group East Arm to create “The EP”, as well as releasing a solo EP, “Figments”.

After a short hiatus from recording, Hammer recently went back to the studio to record a full length album, currently referred to as “Broken Like You”. This session also spawned “Let it Burn”, due to the proposed difference in sound between the two records, with “Broken” as folk, and “Burn” being much darker blues-inspired pieces. Hammer collaborated on “Burn” with his band, The Impact, which includes Dave Cofell on guitar and harmonica, Cody Jergenson on bass, and Jon Schulte on drums.

The first track, “Let it Burn”, is a unique mix of blues style vocals, lyricism, and acoustic finger-picking. Hammer’s devil-may-care vocal sound is perfectly suited for the mood of the song. The picked acoustic guitar toes the line between folk and blues and never fails to catch the ear.

“Blood on a Crescent Moon”, the second track, sounds and feels like it could have been taken straight from a Jim Morrison era Doors album. The guitar sound is quite similar to “Let it Burn” and it fits beautifully. Hammer’s brilliant lyrics prop up this song to be the shining star of the entire EP.

“The Drive” changes the game with a John Lee Hooker style chord progression throughout the track, and adds a harmonica to the mix. The lyrics feel almost punk-inspired, definitely not what is commonly referenced when talking about traditional blues lyricism.

“Death of Me”, the fourth track, attempts to add diversity by downplaying blues style chords and accentuating an electric guitar, but ultimately falls flat, straying too far from the core of the album. The vocals and lyrics work to pull it out of mediocrity, playing on the phrase “you’re going to be the death of me”, however in this case, the electric guitar is the cold-blooded killer.

The song that rounds out the EP, “Ballad of Lucy”, is actually a reinvention of the original, which was released as a folk piece on Hammer’s “Tattooed Folk” EP. It feels much better here, with the addition of bluesy finger-picked guitar and more emotional vocals from Hammer.

In all, the “Let it Burn” EP is a masterfully assembled blues album that flows seamlessly from one track to another and works past its few low points with ease. Hammer’s guitar tells stories as ably as his vocals and leaves a wonderful afterglow. “Burn” also doesn’t suffer from plights like other local musicians such as low production value, and frankly, sounds like it belongs in any blues lover’s collection. Hopefully we see more blues inspired pieces from this talented folk artist after work finishes on his long awaited album, “Broken Like You”. - University Chronicle


About 4,600 ballots were cast, significantly more than last year’s 2,866, and 2005’s 482. As a sign of the changing times, more people voted using mobile devices than Macintosh computers, though PCs still were the dominant method. Since 2008, all nominations and voting have taken place online at www.sctimes.com/bestof.

Final voting ran from Feb. 10 to March 2 to determine winners. Finalists were determined by reader write-in nominations Jan. 3-Feb. 3...

Original band/musician
Adam Hammer & Dave Cofell — 883
Mister — 381
Modern Condition — 379
James Warren — 299 - St. Cloud Times


My first impression is still the same after listening more than a few times to these tracks. There are those musicians that do something as a means to an end, and others who do it because they feel it is the thing to do. A small few do it as an extension of who and what they are.

In listening to "Let It Burn," it's not hard to hear and feel that Adam is part of that small few who find music as an extension of part of himself that he is willing to share with those who listen.

There is a raw compelling quality to his vocals which leads you through the CD from one track to the next — and hitting replay at the end.

Adam's music fills a space somewhere between Tom Waits and The Doors with this release. - Wayne Bergerson, Fretz program host, 88.1 FM KVSC


Though his lyrics carry meaning, Hammer also understands what grabs a crowd’s attention. But for those who tend to tune in to the message the musician is trying to convey, listeners will come across a central theme. “I’ve lived a long, interesting strange life in a short amount of time,” he said. “It’s kind of like a car wreck. But we survived the car wreck and we all got through it. If people pay attention, they can relate.” - Fergus Falls Daily Journal


Ultimately what sells Adam is his honesty and openness about his life. - Rift Magazine


The opening "Starshine" grabs the listener with a catchy piano and guitar hook. "Underwater Love Song" is cool and almost haunting in its delivery. "The Drive" might just be the best tune here, as it starts with the sound of a needle landing on a record and moves into a cool blues sound highlighted by Dave Cofell’s harmonica. - St. Cloud Times


The new CD showcases Cofell's fantastic guitar picking skills and solid songwriting on an all-natural, minimalist recording. It's close to a Cofell live CD, only without the banter of the crowd or the scream of the espresso machine in the background. - St. Cloud Times


Discography

Adam Hammer solo releases
- "From the Basement" EP (2010)
- "Tattooed Folk EP" (2008)
- "Figments EP" (2005)

Dave Cofell solo releases
- "The Road Ahead" (2009)

Adam Hammer & the Impact
- "Let It Burn" EP (2011)

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Bio

Adam Hammer and Dave Cofell are no strangers to taking the spotlight solo with their infectious songs and stories. But when the two team up to split the bill, something incredible happens.

Somewhere along the line between Hammer’s intricate finger-style guitar playing and fluid lyrics, and Cofell’s heartfelt vocals and folky blues style, two acoustic worlds collide. The result is often unexpected and always memorable.

The duo was voted Best Original Band/Musician in the St. Cloud Times' annual Best of Central Minnesota reader's poll in March 2011 with more than 60 percent of the total vote.

Hammer has lived a life well beyond his years and it all comes through in song. His story is one of fatherhood, homelessness, love, addiction, recovery, pain, comfort and unity told in front of a backdrop of his own unique style of "tattooed folk" – melodic acoustic music, highlighted by an indescribable aggression.

After more than a decade of performing with hard rock and alternative bands in front of crowds ranging from three to 30,000, Hammer went solo and taught himself his unique finger-picking style while living in Nashville in 2002. He has released three solo EPs, including 2008’s “Tattooed Folk EP” and “From the Basement,” which hit the shelves in August 2010. “From the Basement” was a preview of things to come from his upcoming solo full-length due out March 2012 and the Adam Hammer & the Impact "black and blues" side project release, the "Let It Burn" EP which hit the shelves Jan. 25, 2011. Cofell also is a member of the Impact on slide guitar and harmonica.

Cofell has been a fixture of the Minnesota music scene for more than three decades. His vast repertoire spans from folk to blues to rock to roots and even a dash of country. He started performing solo and with bands in high school in the early 1980s and has since toured throughout the Midwest with shows at some of Minnesota’s top venues such as First Avenue in Minneapolis and Stephen B. Humphrey Auditorium in Collegeville. He also has toured Europe with a sold out performance in Hamburg, Germany.

Cofell is a prolific songwriter who most recently showcased his abilities on his debut solo CD “The Road Ahead” in 2009.

Hammer and Cofell first put their efforts together in 2009 after meeting at open mic night at The Local Blend in St. Joseph, Minn., a weekly event they now co-host with a mission to build community through sharing music. They also have taken to touring throughout Minnesota with close to 100 shows per year together. In August 2011, they created the "Weekend of Songs: Songwriters Festival" that brought the big three-day outdoor music festival feel inside the intimate setting of The Local Blend. The now annual event features three days of concerts, open mics, meet-ups and jam sessions celebrating songs and songwriting.

Memorable Minnesota venues they have performed at include the Pioneer Place on Fifth Theater in St. Cloud, the Rochester Art Center in Rochester, Glacial Ridge Winnery's summer concert series in Spicer and dozens of coffee shops, lounges, clubs and outdoor music series.

Their show follows a song-for-song format where they back each other up on a mix of original progressive folk, blues and their own blend of "black and blues." Hammer and Cofell also throw in a few choice cover songs and remade renditions of familiar tunes.