The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
www.therockpit.net Anthrax-Worship-Music-CD-Review

ROBBEN FORD


METRO CITY, PERTH WA


12th October 2011

 

 

Sometimes you just have to sit back and listen, let the music wash over you and enjoy the moment. This was not your average Rockpit show and I’m so glad for that because what happened onstage tonight at Robben Ford’s Renegade Creation show at Metros makes you glad to be alive and opens your eyes to a talent that transcends the music you love and thought you knew.

 

The crowd at metros was smaller than I had hoped for and the number of local musicians in the audience was so high that I felt a little privileged even before the first crisp note was struck.  

 

For those that are unaware of Ford or his history he is a man who has played with a veritable who’s who of Rock Royalty from George Harrison, Joni Mitchell (on her Hissing of Summer Lawns and her live album, Miles of Aisles) to Miles Davis, Phil Lesh and Gregg Allman.

 

Tonight though is really all about the Renegade Creation CD Ford has released with Michael Landau, Jimmy Haslip and Gary Novak. It’s an album of blues based songs that avoids being derivative and should easily stand up in its own right.

 

 

After the obligatory band intros (which seemed rather superfluous to the assembled who shouted out each name ad applauded wildly) Robben chides all but the first two rows for not being wiling enough to clap – ‘after all’ he says ‘we have come a long way’.

 

Three songs in the entire crowd, rather than just those in the first two rows is by and large transfixed. Robben’s tone is just so clean, and his solos beautifully flighted. The variety too is amazing to behold from finger-blurring dives to introspective meanders through a series of crisp clean notes.

 

Three songs in and still without introductions (the music is doing the talking) out goes the Strat and in comes the Goldtop.

 

In truth by now I’m mesmerized and wishing that I was a musician myself to get even more out of the performance. The bass is fluid and the drums are like something you’ve never head before, but it’s the trading of solos by Landau and Ford that ignite the air around you.

 

 

“If a man gets personal” intones Ford “Go ahead and have your fun” and in that opening line he lays down a stuttering blues, that is both clean and precise, while Landau’s great stray Sunburst solo lights up the room. Then we are into a Ford blues meditation, and by the end of “Going back to Rosedale” I’m lost in the blues, adrift and completely sold.

 

I stop to ponder - Ford is the only guitarist I have seen better than Bonamassa…

 

Landaus “Destiny Over Me” that follows, from the new Renegade Creation CD is a highlight that belies the talent on stage, it’s an atmospheric blues which Landau sings with conviction, a real slow journey to the ocean. And then we are in the real meat of the evening buoyed along by the guitar which starts to cut loose. Awash in the sound you can’t help but wonder about the army of musicians who have only managed to capture a small piece of this whole…

 

Tonight is Robben’s sixth concert of the tour and Singapore beckons. After an interlude where the band introduce the winner of the Billy Hyde/Allan’s Music competition to play with the band on stage it’s local musician Peter Charlton who  has the intimidating task of joining the band to play Cream’s ‘Politician’. To his credit his fingers find the notes and they even let him solo. He equates himself well despite the talent onstage.

 

 

The rest of the night is a little bit of a blur, transfixed like I’ve not been since I saw Joe Bonamassa (or in truth the New York dolls last week, but that’s an entirely different kettle of fish!) the rest of the night is a blur. It is just one of those shows that you wish everyone was here to see, but at the same time feel privileged that you were in the crowd.

 

If you love the blues, or just the sound of the guitar played by a man that you feel the instrument was designed for then Robben Ford is absolutely unmissable. If you play guitar then I can’t imagine what you would feel at the end of the night – inspired and afraid in equal measure I guess…

 

Simply amazing.

 

 

 

 

By Mark Diggins

 

Thanks to ‘Russ’ at Bully Hyde / Allan’s Music for getting us there