Robben Ford - Into The Sun
So it's not a good time to play guitar. Again. But whilst it’s true that there aren’t many new acts that pride themselves on searing guitar solos, some of the old stagers are still about - and still making music that’s as essential as ever. In the case of Robben Ford even more so. After a career working alongside the likes of Joni Mitchell and Mile Davis, 2014 brought Ford his own critical darling in A Day In Nashville. Happy to finally step out from the shadows, the sexagenarian continues his recent prolific streak with Into The Sun, ploughing the collaborations furrow for the first time on his solo work.
This isn’t a Duets type effort though; Ford gives it everything on the tracks he takes on alone, showing himself to be a consummate fret wielder on the blues of ‘Howlin’ At The Moon’ (terrific solo!) and ragged, riff-laden ‘Cause Of War’. Whilst his guitar ability is a given by now, most surprising is Ford’s new found focus on songwriting. His melodies are true highlights, his guitar licks finding space to show them off. Whilst all the guests slots work well, standouts are Keb’ Mo’ and Robert Randolph, who bring a swagger to ‘Justified’, and ZZ Ward who heats things up on the gorgeous ‘Breath Of Me’. Into The Sun confirms that Ford is in a purple patch in his career of the type that doesn’t come along too often; long may his day in the sun last.