Marc Ford | 09.29 | New Jersey

Words by: Martin Halo | Images by: Rod Snyder

Marc Ford :: 09.29.07 :: Mexicali Blues Cafe :: Teaneck, NJ

Marc Ford :: 09.29
With tacos floating on a half shell and the cheap stench of a joint in the car, the squashed faithful who packed themselves into Mexicali Blues bounced off the walls like fireflies caught in a jar. There were still so many questions left unanswered, which ramped up the speculation floating throughout the air as the Black Crowes kicked off their fall tour of the greater Northwest the night before, while the man who transformed the Crowes from mere mortals to undisputed rock gods had disembarked, carrying his own gear into the deepest pits of New Jersey.

From inside the venue a beam of sun rushed in the open door. Once our eyes adjusted, we saw a van with California plates and a very soft-spoken Marc Ford, ready to offer us a snarling, ramshackle performance.

Traveling south on an East Coast tour leg, which concluded in Fairborn, Georgia on October 14, Ford sat onstage re-calibrating the tonal beauty of his guitars as his aviator shades found a safe home tucked under his collar. Ford's departure has been a focal point of attention since late summer of 2006 when he went his own way after a lackluster summer shed tour. Though nobody knows the exact reasons for the split, what was blatantly evident was Ford's scorched tonal ferocity and reckless endangerment securely tucked under his sleeve.

Marc Ford :: 09.29
Supporting his sophomore solo album, Weary and Wired (released March 2007 on Shrapnel Records), Ford was backed by son Elijah Ford (guitars), Muddy Dutton (bass) and Dennis Morehouse (drums). Starting the set around 11 p.m. the growling moan of duly picked notes, rising to meet each other, set the tone for an evening of sleaze driven guitar licks. With an American Spirit dangling from his lips, the set opened with an extended jam surrounding "Greazy Chicken," which led into the boogie shake of "Don't Come Around."

A short guitar section followed "Dirty Girl," which featured a lick so filthy it could be the bastard child of Jeff Beck's Truth. Ford's vocals have turned rough and notably reminiscent of The Black Keys' Dan Auerbach's signature exhale. Ford transformed the Jersey venue into a Southern fish fry. Additional selections included "Shame on Me," "Smoke Signals," "1000 Ways," a blistering, rockabilly inspired "Bye, Bye, Sally" and "The Other Side."

Leaning into feedback rich solos, Ford pitched his neck, curled his lip and closed his eyes as he proceeded to pick, roll and smoke the entire set. "Currents" was a soulful transition between full-fledged barroom brawl and sweet southern seduction. "Just Take the Money" followed with Ford reaching into his pocket to snatch his dark colored, knuckle-long, glass slide. What followed blew the roof off the small café as Ford's foot caressed his Cry Baby wah pedal, transferring treble and bass in a swirling dust wind sonic blowout.

The performance featured two sets, clocking in at about 90 minutes each. This showcase was the quintessential barroom set. Though the songs were not part of any multi-platinum selling catalog, the show was long, it dazzled and when it was over all one desired was a warm, cozy bed to pass out in.

JamBase | Garden State
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[Published on: 10/29/07]

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jamtheman Mon 10/29/2007 09:12PM
-2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Its about time jambase covered some real music. Too badd its only about half a page. How about some coverage of the Black Crowes too. Please.

PanicSC starstarstarstarstar Mon 10/29/2007 09:12PM
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nice to see some Marc Ford love. In a way I wish he would rejoin the Crowes, but I am loving his solo stuff.

what an amazing talent. Weary and Wired is one of the best albums of 2007. Get it. Listen to it. Agree with me.

Chaloupka starstarstarstarstar Mon 10/29/2007 11:22PM
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Creek starstarstarstarstar Tue 10/30/2007 11:57AM
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One of the best i've ever heard.

chainsaw1013 starstarstarstarstar Tue 10/30/2007 12:18PM
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Good article. Marc Ford puts on just about one of the most energetic rock shows I've seen, highly recommended.

DrownedInSound starstarstarstarstar Tue 10/30/2007 01:52PM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


What the hell does that mean "real music"? that's the kind of attitude that kills creativity and limits people to one sound, one scene, sad stuff.

anyway, nice article on marc ford, he's a bad ass.

jamtheman starstarstarstarstar Tue 10/30/2007 06:41PM
-2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Sorry drownedinsound I just dont like all of the pointless noodling that some of the so called "jam bands" do these days. This is the first article Ive seen on Marc in the last 3 years Ive been visiting this site. And yes I do like one sound, one scene, but no its not sad at all. Im sorry my kind of attitude doesnt go with yours. ooops. This was a very good article, I saw Marc in Minnesota and it was one of the best shows Ive seen in a long time. Great guitar player. Thanks JAMBASE for covering Marc.

bigfro Wed 10/31/2007 10:31AM
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DrownedInSound Wed 10/31/2007 03:34PM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


I agree that lots of jam bands noodle too much are boring as hell, but that whole notion of "this is real music, that is not" is pretty close minded, don't you think? I'm not arguing about Ford, he's fucking awesome, but there are so many great types of music, like Duke Ellington said: "There are two types of music, good and bad." I love Duke, Miles and JFJO for that matter, as well as guitar rock, and also singer-songwriters like Sam Beam and Conor Oberst, or rockers like MMJ or Mars Volta... anyway, like i said, there's so much music out there i'd hate to limit myself to "one sound, one scene." But eh, to each their own... so it goes.

jamtheman Wed 10/31/2007 11:20PM
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I totally agree with you drownedinsound. I gotta admit i do have a close minded music selection. Gotta be honest. Im just bitter about it because I dont feel the type of music I listen is covered enough. But thats just me. Jambase feeds me at least a portion of my want and its good enough.