Robben Ford

Truth

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Robben Ford is at that stage in his career when he needs to make a decision. It's been well established for decades that he is one of the truly great guitar players out there. He has mastered the many styles placed in front of him and bitten off and chewed more. But that doesn't necessarily mean he is a great songwriter; he's not, and that's painfully obvious on Truth. Perhaps the best that can be said about this recording is that it is the work of a very competent bandleader and producer who happens to play one hell of a mean guitar. It also features fine performances from organist Larry Goldings and bassist Will Lee, and guest appearances from Susan Tedeschi (whose soulful voice literally saves a cover of Paul Simon's "One Man's Ceiling Is Another Man's Floor") and Bernie Worrell (on "Riley B. King"). That said, Ford's songs are rather tired, generic, and unidentifiable except for his guitar playing and Goldings' amazing organ playing when he appears on one (though a notable exception to this is the midnight blue protest tune "Peace on My Mind"). His singing voice hasn't gotten any better with the years. He can hold a tune, but it's as if there isn't anything there. His choosing to cover Otis Redding's classic "Nobody's Fault But Mine" was a terrible mistake, as anyone who has ever heard the original would attest. If you are a Ford fan, you no doubt look forward to more of his playing and it's here; if you're not, and know nothing about the man, there is little here to recommend this set. Ford should pull a Tiger Woods and break everything he knows down and begin again; he has too much talent to simply coast like this. This CD was nominated for a Grammy award in 2007 for Best Contemporary Blues Album.

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