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Soul On Ten

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Customer Reviews

Blues, rock and jazz guitarist captured live

It’s hard to believe, but guitarist Robben Ford’s is marking his 40th year as a working musician, having moved to San Francisco to form his first band in 1969. Stints with Charlie Musselwhite, Jimmy Witherspoon, and Tom Scott’s L.A. Express eventually led to the founding of the Yellowjackets and a solo career. Ford’s early work in the blues gave way to jazz sets with Miles Davis and the forging of a progressive sound that melds blues, jazz and rock. This latest release features eight tracks taped live at San Francisco’s Independent, and two more recorded live in the studio. Ford and his backing trio of bass, drums and B-3 organ work through severa; catalog favorites, including the roaring guitar instrumental “Indianola” on which Toss Panos’ drums drive as Ford brilliantly intertwines rock and blues leads with jazz chordings. Ford’s guitar shows plenty of muscle on Willie Dixon’s “Spoonful,” and the straight blues medley of Elmore James’ “Please Set a Date” and Jimmy Reed’s “You Don’t Have to Go” give both Ford and organist Neal Evans a chance to show off their licks. Ford revisits “Nothing to Nobody” here for a third time; originally released on 1999’s Supernatural, and played live on 2004’s Center Stage, this eleven-minute take makes room for some funky solos by Ford, Evans and bassist Travis Carlton. Ford recalls the rock-soul sounds of San Francisco’s ballrooms with wah-wah pedal workouts on “Supernatural” and “There’ll Never Be Another You.” The two studio tracks that close the CD sound out of place, and could have better been replaced by more tracks from the gig. As it is, the titles only reach back to 1999, though the blues covers give a feel for Ford’s earlier roots. 3-1/2 stars, if allowed fractional ratings. [©2009 hyperbolium dot com]

Soul on Ten

Robben Ford rocks. I'm not schooled enough in blues or rock or jazz to be very specific about this album or his other work, but he's a high-energy, expressive and talented guitarist and singer. The anonymous iTunes reviewer or reviewers assigned to Ford seems/seem predisposed to dislike his vocals and writing. I don't put much stock in the reviews.

Great Album!

Robben Ford is great no matter what crtics say and this album and truth showed that. This is a great addition to anyones library.


Born: December 16, 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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