Robben Ford – Most Famous Blues Rock Singer And Guitar Player

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Blues guitarist Robben Ford was born in Woodlake, California on December 16th of 1951. He started with the saxophone at 10 years old and first picked up the guitar at 13 years old. Robben formed a band with his brothers Mark on the harmonica and Patrick on the drums. They called the group the Charles Ford Blues Band in dedication to their father.

Ford first played professionally when he was 18. He got his first gig with the Charles Ford Blues Band as a backup group for Charlie Musselwhite. Following that Ford played for Jimmy Witherspoon. Beginning in the 1970s Ford joined L.A. Express which was headed by saxophonist Tom Scott. This period marks the start of his explorations into Jazz fusion. In 1974 L.A. Express was the backup band for George Harrison on his American tour. That same band was also a backup group for Joni Mitchell on Hissing of Summer Lawns as well as her live album, Miles of Aisles.

In 1976, Ford recorded his solo record titled The Inside Story with the group that later became the Yellowjackets. Robben played on the first two Yellowjackets recordings. Following that Robben worked as a sideman for Miles Davis for a short stint in 1986. Ford has continued to release blues albums that feature his tasteful blues guitar playing starting with Talk to Your Daughter in 1988 and followed by many others.

In addition to all of his recording and performing, blues guitarist Robben Ford has done many instructional seminars and is considered by many to be one of the finest modern blues guitarist. His playing is characterized by tight and precise phrasing as well as the occasional application of outside playing that is commonly used in jazz and fusion. This can be very refreshing for listeners that want to hear more than the stereotypical blues scale improvising.

Top five Robben Ford songs:

1) Talk to Your Daughter
2) Ain’t Got Nothin’ but the Blues
3) Life Song (One for Annie)
4) Tee Time for Eric
5) Magic Sam

Top three Robben Ford albums:

1) Talk to Your Daughter
2) The Inside Story
3) Robben Ford and The Blue Line

Discography

Solo

Robben Ford & The Blue Line

Live

Compilation

With Ford Blues Band

  • The Charles Ford Band (1972)
  • Reunion Live (1984)
  • As Real As It Gets(1996)
  • Hotshots (1994)
  • Fords and Friends (1996)
  • Ford Blues Band (1999)
  • The Ford Brothers
  • Tribute to Paul Butterfield (2001)
  • In Memory of Michael Bloomfield (2002)
  • Another Fine Day (2003)
  • Centre Stage (2004)

With Mark Ford

  • Mark Ford and the Robben Ford Band (1990)
  • Mark Ford and the Blue Line

Collaborations

Albums Played On

  • F-Zero Jazz Album (1992)
  • Voodoo Crossing: A Tribute to Jimi Hendrix (2003) Message To Love
  • Viva Carlos – A Supernatural Marathon Celebration (2004) Blues For Salvador
  • A Guitar Supreme – A Giant Step In Fusion Guitar (2006) Village Blues
  • Come Together 2; Beatles Guitar Tribute (2000?) Golden Slumbers

As sideman

With Joni Mitchell

With Tom Scott and the LA Express

  • Tom Cat (1974)

With Dizzy Gillespie

With Charlie Musselwhite

  • Where Have All The Good Times Gone (1984)

With Jimmy Witherspoon

  • Live at Montreux Jazz Festival (1972)
  • Live (1976)
  • Live at Notodden Blues Festival (1992)

With Kiss

With Georgie Fame

Instructional DVD

  • The Art Of Blues Rhythm
  • Playing the Blues
  • The Blues and Beyond