Christine Bougie | Hammy's Secret Life

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Jazz: Modern Creative Jazz Pop: Quirky Moods: Featuring Guitar
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Hammy's Secret Life

by Christine Bougie

"lovingly woven, intricate and sweet. Hammy is for keeps." John Southworth
Genre: Jazz: Modern Creative Jazz
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Think From the End
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5:36 $1.25
2. Hammy's Secret Life
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5:28 $1.25
3. Eastmount Park
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5:26 $1.25
4. All At Once
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4:29 $1.25
5. Over The Line
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6:47 $1.25
6. Boshimoto
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3:21 $1.25
7. Glow House #3
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3:45 $1.25
8. Stay At Home
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3:31 $1.25
Available as MP3, MP3 320, and FLAC files.


Album Notes
CD Review in Exclaim!
Category: Music

Christine Bougie
Hammy's Secret Life
By Vish Khanna

Known primarily for her guitar and lap steel prowess, Toronto's Christine Bougie bridges genre gaps on this delightfully inventive record. Bougie spent the last year in folkie Amy Millan's band adding rich, countrified textures to the mix. That rustic side of Bougie's musical approach is apparent on this collection of instrumentals but the free form nature of these pieces is closer to that of improvised jazz. Whether hammering out guitar leads on "All at Once" or easing into a banjo breakdown on "Eastmount Park," Bougie's playing is a revelation. With a band that includes members of Feist and killer jazz percussionist Nick Fraser, tunes like "Think from the End" possess an interesting '70s hue, while the title track's post-rock swing and horns recall Torngat. There's a cool Bitches Brew energy to "Over the Line," the pulsating keyboards and rhythms adding another dimension to Hammy's Secret Life, a great, surprising record. (Independent)

Produced by Dean Drouillard
Christine Bougie - guitars, lap steel guitar,
Dafydd Hughes-keys
Steve Zsirai-bass
Nick Fraser-drums
Bryden Baird-horns
Adam Warner-percussion

A music video, funded by BRAVOfact followed, for her tune "Think From The End". If you like starfish, you can watch it at


to write a review

Michel Heroux

Hammy's Secret Life
A very good album, the more I listen to it, the more I like it. An interesting and refreshing blend of folk and jazz, spiced up with a subtle dose of 'prog'- a great find from my little 'Myspace' explorations...

John Book, Music For America

This is one of the best albums of 2007, period
The description of what Christine Bougie creates is "Quirky instrumental music". I had to hear it immediately, and you know, it's instrumental music, but quirky? It depends on ones definition of "quirky", but I have to say that Hammy's Secret Life (self-released) is one of the best instrumental albums I have heard in quite some time.

Bougie is a multi-instrumentalist who plays guitar, lap steel, banjo, xylophone, and a zither, and on the album she does this along with the help of her musician friends to create a collection of songs with the kind of atmosphere and asthetic that should rightfully have her doing movie scores. She plays the kind of music one would love to hear as a soundtrack on their drive out into the country, while songs such as "Hammy's Secret Life", "All At Once", and "Glow House #3" would also fit very well with surfing films.

I don't know if I would even call this "quirky jazz", although there are hints of jazz, blues, rock, and even some folk. There's a down to earth groove that is sensed throughout, and it's difficult to say if it's due to the songs or the feeling created by the musicians. It's earthy, it feels real, as if this lady and gentleman are out in a backyard, barefoot, watching the sky and playing what comes naturally. Bougie herself plays well on the instruments she handles on the album, but her lap steel guitar pulled me closer to what was going on, maybe it's that David Gilmour-esque sound that makes me see waves in slow motion, I don't know. Every now and then you'll hear a horn section, maybe a Mellotron, and the textures are very unexpected but fit in very well.

There's a down home vibe to it, and looking at the liner notes it seems some (if not all) was recorded in a home setting, away from the intimidation of something people view as professional. It's that intimacy that perhaps allows the musicians to be a bit more free in their playing, and with Bougie anchoring the ship, one tends to think she has a firm grip of the kind of music she wants to share with the world and her fans. Now, if one wants to follow the quirkiness of Hammy's Secret Life, and whether or not Hammy is the true spirit of these songs, you can do that and I'll be right behind you awaiting the next chapter. Away from that, this is one of those albums that is vinyl worthy, which means it gets the utmost respect from me. This is one of those albums that everyone needs to hear before they pass away, because life would truly be incomplete without its presence in their lives.

bernie schwarz

Hammy's Secret Life
Very interesting concepts. The use of lap in this genre is a first for me.The overall playing is very good. The players complemented one another well. Te production and recording was excellent. I really like it.