Robben Ford

Guitar World Magazine

Robben Ford: “Tone has always been number one to me. It needs to sound good first – otherwise, who cares what the notes are?”

Guitarist, singer, songwriter and occasional saxophonist, Robben Ford got his break in 1969 when, aged 18, he and his band were recruited to back blues harmonica maestro Charlie Musselwhite. Ford went on to play guitar for Joni Mitchell with elite jazz fusion collective, The L.A. Express, to play sideman for...
Picture for Robben Ford: “Tone has always been number one to me. It needs to sound good first – otherwise, who cares what the notes are?”
Guitar World Magazine

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6-String Finger Painting with Robben Ford

"I consider it a real blessing having learned the guitar through the blues medium," says Robben Ford. "I then developed a great love for jazz and, in particular, the tenor saxophone. Those guys—or the guys that I like, I should say—are all very vocal players. They're singers. Miles Davis's trumpet as well is the most brilliant example of a trumpet player using his horn as a voice. It's very much related to speech. Sometimes you speak softly. Sometimes you just groove along. Sometimes you yell. You're always trying to say something as opposed to play something."
Nashville Scene

Pure Represents Robben Ford at His Best

Though he’s an exceptional blues and jazz guitarist, Robben Ford has never restricted himself to any one style. His tremendous career began in the 1970s and continues on with vital energy. The list of luminaries to whom Ford has lent his signature dynamic riffs and inventive solos, in live settings or the studio, hints at the idiomatic diversity at his command. Jazz icon Miles Davis included Ford in his band in the 1980s. Ford and his brother Pat, a drummer, have played on several of blues harmonica legend Charlie Musselwhite’s albums. In the mid-’70s, Ford joined the jazz fusion group The L.A. Express, and you hear him with the group backing Joni Mitchell on The Hissing of Summer Lawns. Jump-blues maestro Jimmy Witherspoon, soul queen Mavis Staples, Phil Lesh of the Grateful Dead, and even guitar wizards like Susan Tedeschi, John Mayall, Brad Paisley and Larry Carlton have all worked with Ford in one capacity or another.
Guitar World Magazine

Robben Ford discusses the tones behind the tracks on his first instrumental album in over 20 years

What were the main differences in your process when you recorded Pure?. “Well, the main difference was that, rather than take a band into a studio and cut a record, I built the tracks from the ground up with my co-producer, Casey Wasner. Then I’d bring in a bass player to put a bass track down after I’d already laid something down that dictated the approach, you know? I just had to have complete control. So we would literally build the track, Casey and I.

Robben Ford: Pure

It's only fitting guitarist Robben Ford assigns a closeup of his chosen instrument to the cover of Pure. His devotion to the axe is at least equal to, if not greater than, the ardor he elicits from fretboard fanatics. But then that's a deserved devotion as the man demonstrates in less than two minutes at the very outset of his first instrumental studio album since Tiger Walk ( Blue Thumb,1997): the one-time member of Tom Scott's L.A. Express and Miles Davis' band sounds equally fluent in a foray through strains of Indian music that give way to hard rock blues riffing and back again on the "(Prelude)." Yet even as he demonstrates his admirable technical skill, Ford's precise feel for the transitions simultaneously renders appropriate the name of this record.

Robben Ford reminds us of his place high amongst guitar’s world rankings

A career fusing jazz, rock and blues means Robben Ford was never going to disappoint in producing another perfect overlap of the three. White Rock Beer… 8 Cents and Blues For Lonnie Johnson are the clearest of crossovers, then Balafon wafts in, melding whistle-clean tones with a synth injection, making for an unexpected yet sophisticated contrast in textures that is repeated through the title track, although the latter has an Eastern feel not quite blending with the rest.
Greater Milwaukee Today

BluesFest headliner Robben Ford talks music, legends, guitars

DELAFIELD — Robben Ford was a 14-year-old kid from rural California when the blues first took hold of him. He had learned a few chords from his dad and was playing guitar and saxophone with some young friends, when he heard the Paul Butterfield Blues Band’s self-titled album in 1965.
Guitar World Magazine

Robben Ford shares atmospheric new single, A Dragon's Tail

Robben Ford’s hotly anticipated studio album Pure is only weeks away, and the blues guitar master has further teased what’s in store for fans by sharing the record’s latest single, A Dragon’s Tail. There’s a smorgasbord of guitar tones to marvel at in the almost-five-minute masterclass, from the intro’s panned...

Robben Ford to Release New Single - Tour dates Announced

Robben Ford is pleased to announce the release of his new single "A Dragon's Tail." About the single, Robben says that “A strong guitar and bassline and a singing melody set up a long, blazing guitar solo. This thing rocks!” The single is off the wildly anticipated album, Pure, to drop August 27, 2021, via earMUSIC (distributed by BFD / The Orchard in North America.) Pure will be the first wholly instrumental studio album since 1997's Tiger Walk, and it's available for pre-order now. Pure features the guitar virtuoso's tremendous music vocabulary of jazz, blues, and rock. Pure seamlessly blends a soulful west coast vibe with bluesy hard rock stylings. Some of the exceptional guest musicians featured are Nate Smith, Toss Panos, and Shannon Forest.

Robben Ford Unveils New Single 'Balafon'

Robben Ford is pleased to announce the release of his new single "Balafon" off of his upcoming August 27th release, Pure via earMUSIC (distributed by BFD / The Orchard in North America.) About his new single, Robben states, “Balafon was one of the first two songs written for Pure. I wanted a beautiful chordal melody and then a shift to a very strong “twangy” riff to contrast. Between, there is a pensive moment to set up a powerful guitar climax!”

Robben Ford shows off upcoming PRS signature model with oversized headstock

Robben Ford has shown off what appears to be a prototype of a new signature PRS electric guitar. The instrument sports several unique features, including pickups adorned with Ford’s personal seal, a larger headstock and more. The veteran guitarist offered fans a first look at the instrument in a minute-long...
Guitar Player

Robben Ford Teases Potential PRS Signature Guitar

Robben Ford is busy preparing for the release of Pure, his first instrumental studio album since 1997, but that new record might not be the only project the virtuoso guitarist has been working on lately. This past weekend, Ford took to Instagram to give fans a look at a new...

Is PRS about to unveil a Robben Ford signature model?

PRS has been expanding its artist roster of late with the likes of Mark Lettieri and Joe Walsh joining its ranks, and it looks like the legend of blues, jazz and rock guitar Robben Ford is next in line. Ford shared a video on his official Instagram account of a...