Marc Ford

Weary and Wired | Blues Bureau International
By TED DROZDOWSKI  |  May 18, 2007
3.0 3.0 Stars

Ford staked his claim to fame as the Black Crowes’ first lead guitarist, but his second solo album — though still packed with old-fashioned rock-out-with-yer-cock-out wailing — has a more contemporary singer-songwriter’s sensibility. Sure, a lot of his playing remains retro, with incendiary, fat-assed riffs blasting their way into blues bedrock, but instead of replowing the furrows of the ’60s (as the early Crowes did), the numbers range from the emotional pop of “The Other Side” to the gnashing, hooky garage-door anthem “Don’t Come Around.” Tendrils of Hendrix, Humble Pie, and early Neil Young with Crazy Horse (this last especially on the chordal slasher “Smoke Signals”) run through his music, but he leads his influences along his own trails. Ford is as likely to spin out single-note pentatonic scales and bent-note flurries as he is to detonate his solos into shock waves of feedback, and the poetic charisma of his lyrics is perfect for his lightly gritty singing. He does take a swipe at his former bandmates in “Just Take the Money,” apparently his view of the Black Crowes’ reunion tours. And when he wrestles the blues classic “That Same Thing,” his nasty attack makes the damn critter snarl as if it had been born in a cave and raised by real howlin’ wolves.


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