Bringing It Back Home


The title suggests that sometime during his four-decade career, Robben Ford abandoned the blues, but that’s not true. Even while immersed in jazz—he played with Miles Davis and was a member of the Yellowjackets—the gifted guitarist never completely strayed from the genre. Still, this is his most blues-saturated record in some time. Whether turning to established songsmiths (Earl King, Allen Toussaint) or penning his own material, Ford casts off the mannerisms of his more progressive work. The result is some of his most soulful, emotionally resonant music, as evidenced by his original ballad “Oh, Virginia” and the minimalist “Traveler’s Waltz,” credited to wife Anne Kerry Ford and Michael McDonald. And there’s still plenty of rock and funk. “Fair Child” is built on a grabber of a groove, and his soulful cover of Bob Dylan’s “Most Likely You Can Go Your Way and I’ll Go Mine” finds added depth in the organ and trombone. Ford’s vocals aren’t his greatest strength, but he gives it all he’s got. –Jeff Tamarkin


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