Marc Ford

Holy Ghost

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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.

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