Robben Ford's new release "Into The Sun" draws the listener in from the opening track
"Rose Of Sharon" with a lazy, behind the beat groove and tasty fills and solos, like floating down a gently winding sonic river of blues. Ford's smooth vocals make the tracks quite radio friendly but his true voice comes through most clearly on the gorgeous and raunchy guitar tones. Ford also treats fans to some well chosen co-conspirators; Keb Mo and Robert Randolph bring a deep gospel-blues authenticity to "Justified" . "Breath Of Me" showcases a bit jazzier side and ZZ Ward's sultry vocals play a perfect counterpoint to Robben's smokey languid fills. Now that Warren Haynes is down to just one band and a solo career he had a bit of time to sit in on the playful "High Heels And Throwing Things". Slide virtuoso Sonny Landreth lends his swampy mojo on "So Long 4 U", you can almost smell Pontchartrain through the speakers. "Stone Cold Heaven" receives a boost from next generation keeper of the flame Tyler Bryant. Start to finish a solid album to satisfy guitar aficionados and the women who tolerate them alike. There's no need to be pessimistic about the prevalence of auto-tune pop "singers" and edm laptop "musicians" when we have a legend like Sensei Ford passing the torch to younger players. Real music made by real musicians will always have a place and between Robben's collaborating and teaching we are fortunate to be assured of a continued growth of the most magical of arts.
- James H.