Marc Ford

When I was offered the opportunity to review Marc Ford’s new album, I jumped at the chance- mainly because I am a huge Black Crowes fan; Marc was their lead guitarist for around six years back in the 1990’s. I’m also a big fan of “southern” Rock as a genre, with the sliding guitars and laid-back sound that has seen a massive resurgence over the last couple of years, with bands like Blackberry Smoke and The Cadillac Three coming to the forefront of the scene.

The circumstances surrounding Ford’s departure from the Black Crowes and his subsequent dabblings with various bands, including Blue Floyd and Marc Ford and The Sinners have been well documented over the years so I won’t rehash old news here. Suffice to say that this is a man who has not been resting on his musical laurels and “Holy Ghost” seems to be the fruit of a long labour. It’s also a real family affair with marc’s son Elijah, and his wife Kirsten appearing on the album on guitar and backing vocals respectively.

I’m not quite sure what I was expecting from this record, but I was gratified to see that it features 12 tracks. So many albums these days are short; short songs, short listening time and often when you’ve shelled out £10 for an album, you feel a bit short-changed-unless it’s an absolute belter from the word go! I wasn’t sure about this one until I’d listened to it through a couple of times; it has a distinct Country vibe overarching all of the tracks. Indeed, it features a banjo and various other instruments that you probably wouldn’t find on your average album in today’s music scene and usually I prefer my music a bit more … well, Rock.

However, “Holy Ghost” is more of a musical journey than simply sticking a collection of songs onto a disc and hoping it will sell. It is a chilled out, thought-provoking opus that creeps up on you like a shy animal. One minute it’s sitting in the corner of the room looking disdainfully at you, then it lets you pet it whilst it sits on your lap. Finally, you wake up one day and find it lying next to you staring soulfully into your eyes and you wonder how you ever lived without it. This is not an album that will slap you in the face. In my opinion, it will insinuate itself into your brain and you’ll find that you can’t wait to listen to it again.

I won’t go through the listing track by track as I think you really have to listen to this for yourself to get a handle on how good it is. However, I have some favourite and ‘stand-out’ tracks from the 12 that I would like to recommend for your listening pleasure. “Blue Sky” is a perfect opener (first track “If I’d Waited” is more of an intro), upbeat, uplifting and it gives a perfect flavour of what is to come.

“Dream#26” is a mellow offering that I find absolutely charming. Although it has more Country overtones than I would normally be comfortable with, it’s a perfect track with which to lounge around with a book in the garden on a sunny day.

Marc Ford

“I’m Free” is a fantastic track, both lyrically and because of the skilful guitar sliding; it has a real Southern feel about it and it’s also a very positive song. For a beautiful, melodic tune check out “Turquoise Blue”. It’s a slower track, but it’s a real gem and has a sweet, simple guitar solo towards the end.

Marc has an interesting voice which is suited perfectly to this type of music and overall this album is a definite must-add to any music lover’s collection. It’s already a firm favourite of mine and I’ll be interested to see what follows in the years to come. You can catch Marc Ford over the next month as he tours round Europe; for you local peeps he is playing at the Wedgewood Rooms in Portsmouth on Thursday 22nd May.

Track Listing
If I’d Waited
Blue Sky
Dancing Shoes
Dream #26
In You
I’m Free
Just A Girl
You Know What I Mean
Turquoise Blue
Badge of Descension
Call Me Faithful


Words by Vikkie Richmond.

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to MySpace