Marc Ford

Marc Ford

LA Edwards

Thu, April 12, 2018

Doors: 6:00 pm / Show: 8:00 pm

Saint Rocke

Hermosa Beach, CA


This event is 21 and over

This is a General Admission ticket and does not guarantee seating. For table upgrades please call 310.372.0035

Marc Ford
Marc Ford
MARC FORD is one of the most gifted, celebrated and in-demand rock guitarists of his generation has switched gears to deliver what will undoubtedly stand as one of the finest Americana albums of 2014.

'Holy Ghost' has plenty of space for Ford to demonstrate that his guitar sorcery is as powerful as ever. But it's textured in a different setting that will also delight a legion of admirers who never knew he could embrace the wide open spaces of American roots music so brilliantly.

Note for note, Marc Ford ranks as one of the world’s preeminent guitarists. Even so, his song craft 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 Vanderslide’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 wellcrafted “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 lowcountry 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 Vulture represents another timelessvolume in Marc Ford’s inimitable musical journey... If you know Ford's back story in full, you know it's about a multi-faceted reputation forged on the frontline as the fabled lead guitarist with the Black Crowes; at the helm of his own bands such as the Neptune Blues Club and the Sinners; as a vital component of key records and/or tours by acts from Govt. Mule to Izzy Stradlin, from Booker T to Ben Harper; and as the producer of choice for artists such as the great roots-rocker Ryan Bingham and English country-soul talents Phantom Limb.

Therein lies the transatlantic connection. Ford produced the Bristol-based Phantom Limb's second album 'The Pines,' released in 2012, and when it was time to give life to the songs he'd collected for 'Holy Ghost,' the inspirational thought occurred to him to offer the return job to the band's Stew Jackson, aka Robot Club, in sessions at Rockfield in Wales and the Shed in Bath. Jackson plays on the album along with his fellow Limbs, so to speak, while Marc's son Elijah adds guitars, and his wife Kirsten contributes vocals. Elijah, himself a fine new talent, has also been working with Jackson on his own album project.

"I waited for a while until the timing was right for this," says Ford. "I knew I wasn't supposed to act on these songs for a while, so I kind of sat on them as a batch together. Most of them are brand new, but a couple are 15 years old. I just needed to drop out for a little bit and get home back together. I had a daughter, so this is the first time I got to be at home for the first five years."

Suddenly, Ford knew what he had to do. "I was sitting here one day and, like I said, I'd been waiting on these songs for a while. Then it just dawned on me, wait a minute, Phantom Limb is the perfect band for this. I've used a couple of bands here, and although I could have made the record with them, it didn't seem right, there wasn't the perfect fit. I would have had to tailor some people or some songs, and it didn't seem to make sense.

"So I just said 'Stew, you allowed me to pull your baby apart and put it back together. I've never had a producer produce my own stuff. How about payback? You can do me now. I think I have some of the best songs I've ever written, and you've got a bitchin' band.' He just said 'Get here.'"
The results are inspiring, often upbeat, always reflective. As Ford himself says, "it's hopeful, in a dark way sometimes." But it's the work of an artist who's found the inner strength to recharge, personally and professionally. "It's a reflection of my life," he says. "I pulled out of gigging and travelling and literally kind of stopped.

"It was like, 'I've got to regroup here, be at home and keep relationships good.' Otherwise, if you keep running and running, even though it's work, something has to suffer. So the holy grail now is to find how you keep a family and a musical career together. We moved to San Clemente, which is a little surf town, and the pace here is slower. It really is a small town feeling, a lot of acoustic guitar playing. I think all that reflects in the record."

In the process of rethinking himself, Ford has learned all kinds of new music, but his earliest memories in the household of his west coast upbringing were of Beatles, Creedence and Simon & Garfunkel albums, and Miracles and Chuck Berry singles. Later inspiration came from Led Zeppelin and Elton John. "As I got older, I found the first two Jeff Beck records, 'Truth' and 'Beck-Ola,' and wore those out. Then a friend of mine took me to his house, his stepfather had this 400,000 watt stereo and he sat me down and put on Band of Gypsys. It scared me to death, it changed everything for me. I was like, 'I didn't know you could do this.'"

After playing in a high school band, he left to form his own outfit, in a rock education that would lead ultimately to Burning Tree, the acclaimed LA trio whose powerful local reputation led to a deal with Epic and a 1990 album. Noticed by a bunch of Atlanta scenemakers of the day called the Black Crowes, Ford would join them in 1993 for 'The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion,' which hit No. 1 and sold two million copies in the US alone as they climbed to the top of the world. His guitars were also front and centre of 1994′s 'Amorica' and 'Three Snakes and One Charm.'

His time with the Black Crowes, including a second stint in the mid-2000s, are so well documented as to need little repetition here. Except for Ford to say that he can look back on his musical passage with them, and on all of his other stops along the way, with real satisfaction. "I'm proud of all the music that's been made," he says. "I think that stands, and the Crowes was a fantastic band. Ben Harper's music was great, 'There Will Be A Light' [on which he plays, as he does the later 'Both Sides Of The Gun'] is a fantastic record. Ryan Bingham, I heard at a club at one in the morning and it was like 'Please let me record you.'" He did so, for Bingham's lauded Lost Highway albums 'Mescalito' and 'Roadhouse Sun.'

"There are a lot of factors involved when you're in your early 20s and everything you've ever dreamed of happens. I got swept up in it, like many people do. There was just a point where I went 'Wait a minute, you've reached the top of the mountain and the answers aren't here, this isn't really any kind of enlightenment I was looking for.' Drugs and alcohol were a giant cover-up for a lack of self, and worth. So the only regrets I would have would be personal, wishing that I could have handled certain things better. But then again, I had to learn it."

'Holy Ghost' is absolutely ingrained with all the things Marc Ford has learned. "Maybe people still want me to be a guitar hero and that's it," he says firmly. "I'm determined to change that mindset."

-Paul Sexton
LA Edwards
LA Edwards
L.A. EDWARDS is the music of Luke Andrew Edwards. Born into a large family in the mountains of California, Edwards was introduced to pop and folk music by his mother while still brewing in the womb. While still a schoolboy, his mom would make mix cassettes for Luke and his brother Jesse to listen to on the bus ride to school. The mixes usually consisted of the likes of Simon and Garfunkel, Abba, Beatles, and Cat Stevens. Although their sack lunches were usually just balogne sanwiches on stale bread, the mix tapes prepared by mom proved to be much more sustaining.

Hitting the road with his brother at the age of 15 after dropping out of high school, Edwards was on his way to creating a legacy of music that would become etched into the walls of time. From Califonia to Maine, Edwards absorbed musical flavors like a dry sponge. While his peers were worrying about who would be prom king and queen, Edwards was playing dive bars and drinking standing soldiers. Like so many great songwriters before him, Edwards flung himself into the whirlwind, hoping he would have something to genuine to write about on the other side.

Luke and Jesse became known as the Smart Brothers, two dark lads who could sing, write, and play. They toured the country and changed lives during their late teens and early 20s.

The 2 brothers have branched off into seperate ventures to foster several of the songs and musical ideas that were never brought to fruition during the Smart Brothers, although they still remain close and play their songs for adoring fans across the world.

L.A. EDWARDS sounds like running through a field in the summer. It sounds like getting warm after you've been cold for a long, long time. L.A. EDWARDS sounds like coming home.
Venue Information:
Saint Rocke
142 Pacific Coast Highway
Hermosa Beach, CA, 90254