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Album Review

When an artist records one type of music exclusively for years, it's always amusing to hear the artist's manager, record company or publicist claim that he/she "defies categorization." The fact is that when an artist spends his or her entire career recording a specific style of music, categorization comes easy — and it's silly and dishonest to claim otherwise. But if any artist really does defy categorization, it's Robben Ford. The eclectic singer/guitarist is a compelling bluesman, but he's equally convincing as a jazz improviser and a pop/rock singer. On Supernatural, Ford's primary role is that of an easygoing pop/soft rock singer — although a pop/soft rock singer who often incorporates soul, blues or jazz. Ford, who was 47 when this album was recorded, gets in some nice guitar solos on the title song and the bluesy, playful "Lovin' Cup," but Supernatural isn't a blowing date — it's a vocal date, and Ford's vocals often take us back to the pop world of the '70s. In fact, Steely Dan's '70s albums are a valid comparison on this CD — like Steely Dan, Ford incorporates enough R&B, jazz and blues elements to give his relaxed, laid-back pop and soft rock a healthy amount of grit and spice. Especially enjoyable is the socially aware pop-soul item "Hey, Brother" — depending on how you arranged it, this is the type of song that would have worked for Steely Dan, El Chicano, War, Rare Earth or Donny Hathaway in the '70s. Supernatural isn't among Ford's essential albums, and it falls short of being a gem. But it's a decent, if slightly uneven, effort from one of the few artists who really is versatile enough to defy categorization. [A Japanese version the CD was also released.]

Customer Reviews

This record is about the songs

Only one pure blues number on this varied collection, Lovin' Cup, and it's a barnburner. The rest of the CD has a focus on song writing with several collaborations with Michael Macdonald. Some excellent songs here, you got me knockin', deaf dumb and blind, and water to the wicked are stand outs. My guess is Robben likes this album in that it's not the typical blues collection with lots of solo's. As always tremendous guitar playing. The fade out on Let me in, show a guitar player at the absolute hight of his powers.

One of the Best Albums

I have almost 15,000 songs and my collection spans from Count Basie to B.B. King, Led Zepplin and the Stones to Frank Sinatra and Peggy Lee, back to the Gap Band, Dizzy Gillespie, Buddy Guy, Gregg Allman and the band he's in, Derek Trucks, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Earth Wind & Fire...You get the idea. This is one of the best albums of all time. If I was on a island and could only have 3 albums, this would be one of them. Variety, depth, sophistication, virtuousity, it's all here. If you haven't heard Robben Ford you've missed out on a huge treat. This album is a great place to start. Fans of jazz, blues, funk, soul and any other genre you can think of will appreciate these 11 cuts.


One of my favorite ( top 5 ) players. These songs are wonderfully diverse and Robben is playing great...but the mix is horrendous...vocal to far back...things jump out inappropriately then dissappear from the sonic spectrum. God, I would love to hear this album mixed by someone else. I still bought it cuz I love Robbens playing.


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...
Full Bio
Supernatural, Robben Ford
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