#1
So, in about January, 2007, with a little over three years playing experience, while buying my first amp I got a copy of Guitar Player. About three years later, this past October, I went out and got a subscription to them. In an odd coincidence, the Blues interview in my old copy from 2007 and in the first issue I got was of the same man - Robben Ford.

Though probably best known as a sideman and session musician and therefore not having much spotlight outside of musicians who need an accompanying guitarist or saxophonist, it would seem he's had a fairly long and good career so far. Interested, I decided to use the two albums, one a live album and one a studio album, he was interviewed while promoting to see whether or not to dig deeper into his discography. Today I'll be reviewing the studio album, Truth.



Just before I continue, I'd like to ask, does anyone know what kind of Les Paul that is and who makes it? Because I find it absolutely gorgeous, and based on the album, it sounds as good as it looks.

Diving right in, the first track, Lateral Climb, starts with an intro of some ambient noise, a chord or two on a piano, then jumps into a nice, tight E Blues. I'm not completely sure, but at the very least the third verse most definitely is a social criticism of society, America in-particular, from 2007("Our leader's addicted to oil and war/Says it's freedom that we're fightin' for/Applause, applause, for bald face white collar crime/And they leave you stranded, Believin' in a lateral climb" Hard to take that many other ways). Regardless of your stance though, as a basic blues number this one is enjoyable, and it does a good job showing why the man is a respected guitarist even if he's not a huge name like Clapton, Beck or Bonamassa. A shame too, he really deserves it I think.

Moving on though, the second track here, How Deep In The Blues(Do You Want To Go) has lyrics that could have a few meanings, most of which I'm too lazy to look into in this review unless asked. It may be a small little thing though that just I like, but the key in this song sounds like Bb to me, which is actually a key I really like and wish more people would use. Another fun trick I think I can hear here that I really like is the use of wah with the organ, which is something I barely ever hear but love when I do. I digress though. The multilayering of the two or three rhythm guitars along with the lead works out well, and at this point in the album I'd really like to be introduced to the rhythm section for this album, as the bassist keeps everything feeling nice and groovy while keeping the rhythm, and the drummer has to be one of the better Blues drummers I've heard in recent years. This track also showed up on Soul On Ten, the aforementioned live album from this year, so I get a feeling will be turning into a live staple for him.


Number three here is Nobody's Fault But Mine, a fairly straightforward song that seems to be about someone leaving another someone for not being fully satisfying or something like that. I don't really do much lyrical analyzation on songs about love for the most part since usually they're lyrically straightforward. As with the rest of the album though, on all instruments, the musicianship is solid.

Track four is a heartfelt(Or at least in my opinion,) tribute to the King of The Blues, B.B. King, hidden using his real name, Riley B. King, although if you listen to the song, it's apparent who's it about. It's hard to like the Blues and dislike B.B., and I always have a respect for an artist willing to pay respects to the men and women who made them what they are, so naturally, I like this song. It may just be a mental thing as well, but this song does sort of sound a little like something you'd hear from B.B. King. Speaking of which, off-topic for a second, if you get the chance, considering how old he is and that he has diabetes, go see B.B., don't be stupid like me and forget to buy tickets. Granted he's coming back early in 2010 so it's not all bad on my end, but still, at this point you don't want to risk missing a once-in-a-lifetime night of magic.

Track five of eleven, You're Gonna Need A Friend, much like three, uses the Blues cliche of adultery, but adding in a twist of karma, so to speak, in that the adulterer is essentially pennyless, either literally or figuratively, and that the eponymous friend is the friend/lover/roommate we all need to help get through life. There's also some backup vocals on here, which to me either work well or kill an otherwise good song. They don't make it go from good to great, but they also don't kill it, which is a very pleasant surprise.

The sixth song on the album is also I believe the only non-original composition, being a cover of the Paul Simon song One Man's Ceiling Is Another Man's Floor. It actually works surprisingly well I think, fitting the album's feel very nicely. It also features Susan Tedeschi, wife of slide virtuoso and Duane Allman reincarnated, Derek Trucks, and before then and still now a very skilled Blues guitarist and singer. I'm not sure if she contributed to the guitars on this track, but I'll be damned if she doesn't have an excellent voice that also fits the song beautifully.

Too Much, the seventh track, is either about an attention whore, a self-centered lead singer or just a jackass. All one and the same though, right? One thing I particularly liked about this track was the fact it featured an organ solo. I've always loved organs, so I like hearing the spotlight passed to them. Otherwise though, while being a lot of good fun, this one's just a run-of-the-mill Blues song with some Jazz tinge.

Peace On My Mind is again a social criticism like track one by the sound of it. I don't want to get hit with much from people who have different views than Mr. Ford, so I'm not going to analyze the lyrics much. I will say that it has a Santana-y feel though to me, and as Carlos Santana is one of my favourite guitarists, that is a very good thing in my book. The solos on it are powerful and the groove feels excellent, so suffice to say I really like this track. You may not depending on whether or not the lyrics are a turnoff for you.

Moving right along, track nine, There'll Be Another You starts off with a wah'd intro, then goes into a harmonized riff. I'm not completely sure, but I'm fairly sure the lyrics are about either a relationship falling to pieces, or it staying together while one member tries to kill the other for some reason. Either way, it's an enjoyable track, and another one you can find a live version of on Soul On Ten.

River Of Soul, the second to last track on the album, is exactly what it sounds like. A moderate-paced song about the metaphorical river of soul, which can be applied to a few things, but in this seems to be used as a euphemism for the feelings of loneliness of the road and what he attributes to his longevity, namely the soul and emotion in his music. This is definitely true, so he's got it right there. The lead in this is very nicely reverb'd, and the rest of the song fits well and good into the feel.

The last song on the album, Moonchild Blues, is something that confuses me a bit. The name would suggest a possible Rory Gallagher tribute, since Moonchild was the name of one of Rory's better-known songs, but it doesn't really sound like something meant to be a tribute to Mr. Gallagher, and the lyrics are more about the same Blues cliches as the previous tracks that implemented them. Either way though, it does have a nice, dramatic, and sad feel to me, and is a very nice song really overall.

So, yeah. If I had to give it a number rating, I'd give it a 8.5 or a 9 out of 10. It's not perfect, but if you like the Blues, listen to it, and aren't happy with at least one song, there's something wrong with you. The musicianship is stellar and has a great, conclusive feel, the tones are great(Somehow he manages to get a tight, airy, almost-clean sound from an HH solidbody. Any ideas how? Whenever I try it turns to crunch, which isn't bad, just not what I want), despite a slightly odd speaking voice, Robben is a good singer and a stellar guitarist who really deserves more notoriety than he gets. That said, this isn't really something you'll hunt for unless you really like his music, in which case you have it already since it's about three years old. But if you see it and you like the Blues(Which you probably do if you're in here), then it's definitely worth a listen.
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#2
I'm gonna give you one correction straight of the bat.
He's best known for his solo career and his career with his own bands, not as a sideman.
He already is a name on scale with Beck, etc. He's just not particularily mainstream. He's still widely known within the blues and jazz world.

Check out "The Ford Blues Band" and "Robben Ford and the Blue Line". Great stuff.

Gonna read the review itself again later, while listening to the album.
Seems like a great job, though.


As for gear, he also uses a Tele a lot, which might be what you're hearing?
#3
Stickied.....for a week or two.
Feel free to call me Kyle.

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#4
Quote by JilaX^
I'm gonna give you one correction straight of the bat.
He's best known for his solo career and his career with his own bands, not as a sideman.
He already is a name on scale with Beck, etc. He's just not particularily mainstream. He's still widely known within the blues and jazz world.

Check out "The Ford Blues Band" and "Robben Ford and the Blue Line". Great stuff.


He is? Huh...how come there's no thread for him or anything then? It kind of disheartened me when I searched his name that I couldn't find a Robben Ford thread.


As for gear, he also uses a Tele a lot, which might be what you're hearing?


That's quite a likely possibility actually, and would make a lot of sense.
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#5
bleh, don't like his new albums. His playing is still excellent but it's just impossible to listen past the cheesiness of his new arrangements/songs.
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#6
yeah i checked some of his stuff out, hes got chops but doesn't do much for me really
#7
I like Handful of Blues, but I haven't heard this album. Robben Ford is a heck of a guitar player, but I've never really liked his singing voice for a lot of songs. Fantastic playing and tone, though.
Feel free to call me Kyle.

Quote by ibz_bucket
Just so you know, I read everything you type in a Mike Rowe from Dirty Jobs voice.

Quote by tubetime86
I mean in Kyle's case, it is in the best interest of mankind that he impregnate anything that looks at him funny...
#8
Quote by necrosis1193
He is? Huh...how come there's no thread for him or anything then? It kind of disheartened me when I searched his name that I couldn't find a Robben Ford thread.


That's quite a likely possibility actually, and would make a lot of sense.


The search function on here is bollocks. (It only searches the last 3 pages. I tried once, and there was no B.B King thread once. ) There's been plenty of threads on him.

He uses the tele on some videos related to this album too, I think.


I do like the old Robben better than the new.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HvFsvmoUsnI Nothin' But The Blues.
Probably my favourite jazz-Blues solo ever.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y8yo5eymK5I - Talk To Your Daughter.
Just legendary. The bass player is brilliant too.
#9
good work!
i know some about him
He's best known for his solo career and his career with his own bands
He's still widely known within the blues and jazz world.