I wrote about Robben Ford a couple of years ago when I went to see him at a small club. In that post, I said this, “Robben Ford is an ace guitarist from California who hit the scene back in the late ’60s playing with his and his brothers’ band, the Charles Ford band. (Named for their father.) They were hired to play for blues harmonica great Charlie Musselwhite but it’s not clear whether or not they recorded together.” I went on to say that his playing is “terrific – fluid, melodic and creative.”
Robben is very much of one of those under-the-radar guys who to my knowledge has never had a hit of any sort but still manages to eke out a living making great music. In 1988 he released a blues-rock album called Talk to Your Daughter. For the most part, it’s a gem with some nice tunes, mostly covers, all with his great tone and phrasing.
First up, the title tune. The band lays down an infectious groove driven by Russell Ferrante’s keyboards. Robben plays some smokin’ guitar with a fat tone for miles:
You say you like some Albert King? Of course, you do. The band’s version of “Born Under a Bad Sign.”
Wine and women is all I crave
A big legged woman is gonna carry me to my grave
Born under a bad sign
I been down since I begin to crawl
If it wasn’t for bad luck, I wouldn’t have no luck at all
I’ll leave you with “Revelation,” a tasty instrumental that sounds like what Steely Dan would do if they did instrumentals. I mentioned in my piece on his live show that “he never played on any of the Dan’s albums and his – and a lot of other players’ – solo didn’t make the cut on “Peg.”)
I noticed on Robben’s website he sometimes does live stream clinics on guitar playing for a reasonable price. Just missed one. Next time.
Robben Ford – guitars, lead vocals
Russell Ferrante – Yamaha GS-1, synthesizers, piano
Roscoe Beck – four- and six-string bass, vocals
Vinnie Colaiuta – drums