Frazey Ford: Obadiah (Nettwerk/Shock)

 |   |  1 min read

Frazey Ford: If You Gonna Go
Frazey Ford: Obadiah (Nettwerk/Shock)

Ford was one of the key voices in the Be Good Tanyas, but since they have disbanded she is now out on her own with this debut solo album -- and quite some quiet piece of work it is.

Things really start to grip a few tracks in when you identify the idiom: despite the banjo on the lead-off track Firecracker, this is no recreation of backwoods "authenticity" and the warm trumpet on Bird of Paradise (the third track in) alerts you to the clever, discreet arrangements which you increasingly start paying attention to.

There is low organ, vibes and marimba, electric guitars . . . and then you identify the subtle Otis Redding influence (If You Gonna Go with soulful horns), the almost avant-pop angularity (Blue Streak Mama), the slow blues-folk ballad over moonlight guitar (Lost Together with a strings and sensitive lyric which is her forte) . . .

On Hey Little Mama she reflects on the hard times of a mother ("did you think this would be the hardest thing you ever did") and elsewhere she calls for a drink to make herself immune to the pains of the world.

Throughout are hints at early acoustic Neil Young and Bob Dylan (she covers his One More Cup of Coffee, the coiling melody of which suits her voice perfectly), but she also takes the Be Good Tanyas as her starting point for a journey into deep reflection, vocals which quiver with emotion and are recorded clean and up-close, and the refined melodies just come sliding out.

This is a real grower which just keeps giving up its nuances on every new hearing. 

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

Salon Kingsadore: Anti-Borneo Magic (Sarang Bang)

Salon Kingsadore: Anti-Borneo Magic (Sarang Bang)

The Auckland Observatory last year was the perfect venue for Salon Kingsadore. While planets shifted and an astral journey past the rings of Saturn played out on the Stardome above, the group... > Read more

Willie Nelson and Asleep at the Wheel: Willie and the Wheel (Bismeaux/Southbound)

Willie Nelson and Asleep at the Wheel: Willie and the Wheel (Bismeaux/Southbound)

For a man who describes himself lazy Willie Nelson has been, we might observe charitably, been putting it about a bit lately. The Willie with Wynton Marsalis album didn't make as much sense as they... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Eric Bibb: Get On Board (Telarc/Elite)

Eric Bibb: Get On Board (Telarc/Elite)

From the haunting opener Spirit I Am though to the country-blues reworking of the old Civil Rights song Stayed On Freedom which closes this exceptional collection, this 57-year old, Helsinki-based... > Read more

CLAPTON, THE ULTIMATE ILLUSTRATED HISTORY by CHRIS WELCH

CLAPTON, THE ULTIMATE ILLUSTRATED HISTORY by CHRIS WELCH

Open this handsome, cleanly presented, large format book at the midpoint of its 256 colourful pages and you learn much about its contents from just two words. The words are "Blind... > Read more