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Note for note, Marc Ford ranks as one of the world’s preeminent guitarists. Even so, his songcraft commands the utmost respect. Ford is no one trick pony. Keyboardist Johnny Neel once said: “Marc Ford’s an actual genius. He has the best guitar sound I’ve ever heard.”
Ford’s career began in Los Angeles during the 1980s. His group, Burning Tree, captured the essence of his guitar virtuosity and songwriting.He joined the Black Crowes in late 1991. Ford toured and recorded on three of the Crowes’ finest albums–The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion, Amorica, and Three Snakes and One Charm. Ford’s tenure in the Crowes found the group operating at a zenith. He rejoined the Crowes in 2005-2006 when they toured and released The Lost Crowes–two albums the band never released when he was a member.
In 2002, Ford released his first solo album, It’s About Time. During this era, Ford experienced the highs and lows of surviving in a cutthroat music business through the years as well as being a dedicated family man. Ford’s following solo albums included Weary And Wired(2007), The Fuzz Machine(2010) and Holy Ghost (2014).
Ford won a NAACP award (John F. Kennedy counts as one of the few other Caucasians bestowed the honor) for his work on the Ben Harper and Blind Boys of Alabama album There Will Be A Light.
Also, Ford’s role as a record producer allowed him to use his gift of tone and a powerful ability to listen. Artists he produced include Ryan Bingham, Pawnshop Kings, Steepwater Band, Chris Lizotte, Phantom Limb and Republique du Salem. Marc Ford exists as a musical architect of the highest order.
Through his career Marc Ford has performed and recorded with Izzy Stradlin, Gov’t Mule, The Jayhawks, The Original Harmony Ridge Creekdippers, Federale, Widespread Panic, Blue Floyd, Booker T. Jones, Ivan Neville and Heartbreaker Mike Campbell.
The group on The Vulture, The Neptune Blues Club, recorded their debut album in 2009, which charted at #15 for two weeks on the blues charts. This versatile ensemble includes Mike Malone (vocals, harp, keys), John Bazz (bass), Anthony Arvizu (drums) and Ford. Mr. Ford unleashes his hypnotic guitar skills on these soulful tunes.
The Vulture was recorded on analog tape at mastermind John Vanderslice's Tiny Telephone Studios located in the mission district of San Francisco. The Vulture emits Ford’s greatest strengths: soulful musicianship, memorable songs and an emotive groove.
Ford explained the ethos of these new compositions: “If Holy Ghost was Sunday morning, then The Vulture is Saturday night…”
The opening track–”Devil’s In the Details”–emerges as one of Ford’s finest. The tune operates in his electric wheelhouse. He’s like Clint Eastwood with a guitar. The well-crafted “The Same Coming Up” clocks in at one minute and fifty seconds emitting joyous rock n roll. “All We Need To Do Is Love” eases the listener into pastoral reflection. “This Ride” inspires reckless abandon. The title track contains Ford’s signature snakebite guitar work as he delivers a savage truth in the lyrics: “Got a head full of diamonds/And a nose full of snow/You leave a trail of destruction/Everywhere that you go/Got a shrug of the shoulder/For all that you stole.”
“Arkansas Gas Card” stands as one of the group’s stellar numbers that transfers with brilliance to a live audience. “Old Lady Sunrise” travels into sonic backwaters of a low-country swamp like some vintage STAX Records jewel. The gospel-laced “Deep Water” explores redemptive sanctuaries where matters of the soul are at stake.
“Shalimar Dreams” augments a gritty R&B, rock-n-roll magic in a mesmerizing sound that surrounds the listener. The last cut, “Girl of Mine”, is a love song Ford sings and provides steel on as the group provides a sparse, yet concise musical backdrop.
It’s harvest time for Marc Ford. Over the years he’s created his own stellar sound that meets all the rigid standards of excellence. The Vulturere presents another timeless volume in Marc Ford’s inimitable musical journey…
From the true southern city of Macon, Georgia, and a family steeped in oral tradition, JB Strauss meshes music with storytelling in effortless fashion.
Influenced by the heavy, electric style of bands like The Allman Brothers, Credence Clearwater Revival, and Lynyrd Skynyrd, along with poetic and witty writers like John Prine, Gram Parsons, and Jim Croce, it is fitting that JB borrows from the notion that ‘everything that rises must converge.’
Also noteworthy are the years JB spent with family and friends on Georgia’s Golden Isles. His music is redolent of the intricacies and depth of life in the marshes and intracoastal waterways and leans on their life-giving elements to feed the soul when the rivers of home run murky. As JB followed in both of his grandfathers’ footsteps, achieving a law degree all his own, he learned the stories hidden beneath the surface of life in the South. The musical result? The ability to deftly balance the human qualities of contradiction with spiritual redemption. “These songs are part of the foundation of who I am as a person and now as an artist,” JB says.
In “Man Possessed”, the title song of his debut EP, out everywhere December 5th, JB speaks of his grandfather’s life as a Judge and “...how that life wore him down like river over stone...he became a man possessed with moving on.” Another tune, “Piss Ant Hill”, which will be released as the first single on 11/22, is a humorous, yet poignant tale of a man whose fatal mistakes land him in Georgia’s Reidsville Prison. With no one to claim him when he dies, the subject’s destiny becomes a date with a pine box on prison land reserved for the unclaimed.
As JB launches his artist career, one can expect honesty and intensity, truth and salvage. His presence on-stage is paramount to the experience and fans will feel it immediately when they step into one of his shows. “Man Possessed” represents just the first chapter of a long musical journey ahead. Indeed, it’s harvest time for JB Strauss.
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2208 Elliston Pl
Nashville, TN, 37203