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Blue Moon

Robben Ford

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Album Review

Over the years many people have asked, "Will the real Robben Ford please stand up?" Those are the people who wonder if the singer/guitarist is really a blues-rock vocalist or a jazz fusion instrumentalist at heart. But truth be told, Ford is many different things. He is genuinely eclectic, which is why one never really knows from one album to the next what direction he will take. Blue Moon, Ford's first album for Concord Jazz, is primarily a vocal date. Ford gets in his share of inspired guitar solos, and he provides one instrumental: the gutsy "Indianola." But most of the time he sings. And as a vocalist, he favors an exciting blend of blues, rock, and soul on tracks like "Something for the Pain," "Don't Deny Your Love," and "The Way You Treated Me (You're Gonna Be Sorry)." Meanwhile, "It Don't Make Sense (You Can't Make Peace)" and the moody "Make Me Your Only One" are among the CD's more jazz-tinged vocal offerings. Ford does not embrace a standard 12-bar blues format on all of the material, but then, he never claimed to be a blues purist. Ford isn't a blues purist any more than he is a rock purist, a jazz purist, or an R&B purist — he is much too restless and broad-minded to be any type of purist. That isn't good news if you only like one type of music, but it is very good news if you share Ford's eclectic outlook and have admired his diversity over the years. Ford was in his late forties when he recorded Blue Moon in the early 2000s, and this pleasing CD is the work of a musician who is still very much on top of his game.

Biography

Born: 16 December 1951 in Ukiah, CA

Genre: Blues

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Robben Ford has had a diverse career. He taught himself guitar when he was 13 and considered his first influence to be Mike Bloomfield. At 18 he moved to San Francisco to form the Charles Ford Band (named after his father, who was also a guitarist), and was soon hired to play with Charlie Musselwhite for nine months. In 1971, the Charles Ford Blues Band was re-formed and recorded for Arhoolie in early 1972. Ford played with Jimmy Witherspoon (1972-1973), the L.A. Express with Tom Scott (1974), George...
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Blue Moon, Robben Ford
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