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The blues will never die is an axiom proven over and over again, but it does change shape.
Robben Ford's latest release presents blues as they are today: in a powerful setting only a master veteran like Ford could envision.
"The blues have always been socio-political", says Ford.
In the opening song "Lateral Climb", he addresses the 9 to 5 grind, credit card debt, and the political frustrations we all experience.
"Peace on My Mind" was inspired by Willie Dixon's "It Don't Make Sense, You Can't Make Peace", which Ford describes as an anti-war song without being too preachy.
"If you're pointing the finger, no one wants to hear it. It's a portrait rather than a sermon. The truths I describe are self evident"
In this set, Ford also incorporates playful tunes, like "You're Gonna Need a Friend", co-written by his wife and singer Anne Kerry Ford.
In it, Ford subverts blues clichés, such as the evil lady who bedevils her victim.
Other tracks on the album include a funky cover of Paul Simon's "One Man's Ceiling Is Another Man's Floor", which features guest vocals by Susan Tedeschi, as well as loyal version of Otis Redding's early B-Side, "Nobody's Fault But Mine".
This is an album from a jazz electric guitarist that has a splash of soul, a pinch of R & B and a dash of jazz.
All of these genres mixed together form a musical brew that will enthrall listeners, and Ford's emotive lyrics will put the poignant feeling over the top.
My favoutite tracks are : "Riley B. King", which has bluesier guitar work with a slow pace, "One Man's Ceiling Is Another Man Floor" (on which Susan Tedeschi, with her soulful voice literally saves a cover of Paul Simon's song ) and "River Of Soul".
I'm loving it.
You will like it for sure!
The fact is that Robben has a diverse set of influences, (as do I). Miles didn't hire the man for no reason.
"Truth" is exactly what I expected. The soulful playing, top-notch recording, and back-up musicians don't wane, and he has consistently been able to look forward, driving progressive blues, and still tip his hat to those that inspire him, with choice covers ("Badge" and "Money" from "Keep on Running", Otis Redding and Paul Simon here). His homage to BB King here is absolutely heart-felt.
I firmly believe that Robben Ford is as good a "traditional" guitarist as there is in the marketplace today, and he makes the effort on his solo projects to keep himself reliable, fresh, and entertaining for his followers, while working to expand and revive the blues, and, further, open the ears of all that choose to harken. He incessantly eschews chops for a melody and a theme, but his note choice at any moment will make your head turn.
If you care to hear him get down deeper, check out Jing Chi, with Vinnie Colaiuta (Zappa, Sting, Holdsworth) and Jimmy Haslip (Yellowjackets). Three feet required.
One exception, the opening cut, "Lateral Climb" is good enough to raise my whole rating by a star.
I'm not sure he will ever top his performances with the Blue Line or on Talk To Your Daughter but there is a lot to like on Truth. From funky Lateral Climb to the sweet Riley B. King and my favorite, River of Soul which sounds like Steely Dan with a good guitar player. He even sings well.
Mr. Ford is widely recognized by critics and his musical peers for his always fresh and extremely tasty guitar playing, his musical career reads like a who's who, recording and touring with a vast array of artists; Charlie Musselwhite, Joni Mitchell, Tom Scott, The Yellowjackets, Mavis Staples, Georgie Fame, Boz Scaggs, Ben Sidran, George Harrison, John Mayall, Jimmy Witherspoon, Miles Davis, and many more!
For many years it has been said that the blues will never die, but it does change and needs to grow to remain fresh. Robben Ford's latest Concord Records release, "Truth" (August 7, 2007) is definitely twenty-first century modern blues; performed smart and powerfully on Robben's third recording for Concord. All but one track included are originals, with the only cover being the dynamite reading of the Otis Redding B-side "Nobody's Fault But Mine."
`Truth' starts off favorably with the opening track "Lateral Climb", as Robben discusses the working people's daily grind, and world political frustrations and failures. Other highlights include "You're Gonna Need a Friend", which is infectiously funky and was also co-written by his wife and singer Anne Kerry Ford. Robben also pays his respect to the King of the Blues- B.B. King; on `Riley B. King" which boils very sweetly for over six minutes, and never attempts to imitate or replicate B.B's guitar playing or singing, thus showing off Robben's heart-felt appreciation of B.B. The only guest on `Truth' is Susan Tedeschi where the two beautifully meld together in a duet setting.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have come to really love Robben Ford. This is a great one with some really nice original tunes on it as well. You can't go wrong.Published on January 7, 2014 by KnifemakerJ
Robben Ford is a guitar legend. He has his own style. Blues, hard rock, or a little jazz type solos are his way of showing off his ability. Read morePublished on March 31, 2013 by cedeeman
I think that "Truth" really captures all of Robben Ford's talents in a way that no previous record has done. First of all, the songs are strong throughout. Read morePublished on January 15, 2013 by ethersea
This is exactly what I was looking for. Great Blues and great rythm. I'm very pleased with this selection and look forward to the next.Published on January 6, 2013 by Barry
I have almost all Robben Ford albums - yes there are many(!). I put this on and it was like chicken soup for the soul. Read morePublished on November 15, 2012 by RonnieB
One of the best - if you're a fan you must have this album. It stands the test of time and every other test as well.Published on October 7, 2009 by B. Williamson