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Strokes Guitarist Goes It Alone

Of the Oakland Press

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The Strokes’ Albert Hammond Jr. didn’t have heady ambitions for the material that turned into his first solo album, “Yours to Keep.”

“I was just kind of doing some tracks,” the 27-year-old guitarist says. “I thought the best-case scenario was I’d have some cool songs to play with my friends, and maybe once those were finished I was kind of hoping they’d lead me to something new.”

“Yours to Keep” is certainly that. It’s the first full-fledged solo outing by any member of the Strokes — which, of course, has fans worried that Hammond’s sonic sojourn outside the band could bode ill for its future. Hammond even says that “I’d be lying if I told you” the Strokes have any plans or recording at the moment, but he also contends that “everyone is just taking a big amount of time off” and will reconvene at some point this year.

“If we get offers to play European festivals, cool,” he notes, “and if we don’t, then maybe we just work on some new music.”

Strokes frontman Julian Casablancas does, in fact, guest on “Yours to Keep,” playing bass on the track “Scared.” Other guests include Sean Lennon, Ben Kweller, Jody Porter of Fountains of Wayne and Sammy James Jr. of the Mooney Suzuki.

Albert Hammond Jr. and the Dead Trees perform at 9 p.m. Saturday (June 9th) at St. Andrew’s Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit. Tickets are $12. Call (313) 961-6358 or visit www.livenation.com.

Web Site: www.livenation.com

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