Release Date: Apr 8, 2014
Record label: Naim Edge
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Blues-Rock, American Trad Rock, Rock & Roll
Holy Ghost carries some weight as a title and Marc Ford's 2014 album does bear some of its implications, simultaneously feeling spiritual and haunted, an ideal record for contemplative hours in the middle of the night or early dawn. Most of his touchstones are here -- there are slippery guitar runs and rustic chords, although it never, ever rocks as hard as his old band the Black Crowes, but rather favors the Band and quieter Southern rock -- but it's assembled in subtler ways. Its languid nature -- all loping country beats and blues licks, delivered in Ford's low rumble, which isn't gripping yet refuses to fade into the background -- does mean it can slip into the background but it also rewards close listening because Ford captures a hazy, unsteady vibe where the future may be uncertain but there's faith that it will arrive.
Marc FordHoly Ghost(Naim Edge)Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars “Maybe people still want me to be a guitar hero and that’s it. I’m determined to change that,” says Marc Ford in the press release for his first solo album since 2008. That explains the subtly structured nature of these tracks which consciously avoid the tough, rocking guitar work he is best known for due to his contributions to the Black Crowes and more recently Ben Harper.
Although his name may not be instantly recognizable, Marc Ford’s stint as guitarist for the Black Crowes and instrumental support for Ryan Bingham, Izzy Stradlin, Booker T, Ben Harper and Gov’t Mule certainly qualifies him for secure standing in the big leagues. Yet despite these impressive credentials, Holy Ghost finds him coming across as remarkably unassuming, a casual, somewhat weary traveller bound for a yet undetermined destination. “If I’d Waited,” “Dancing Shoes,” “Badge of Descension,” “Dream 26” and “In You” convey the sound of one who’s content to simply accede to circumstance via a slow drift, an easy glide and unfettered introspection.