Marc Ford, widely hailed as one of the most gifted, in-demand rock guitarists of his generation, has switched gears to deliver ‘Holy Ghost,’ an album that will undoubtedly stand as one of the finest Americana releases of 2014.
After playing in a high school band, he left to form his own outfit, in a rock education that would lead ultimately to Burning Tree, the acclaimed LA trio whose powerful local reputation led to a deal with Epic and a 1990 album. Noticed by a bunch of Atlanta scene-makers of the day called the Black Crowes, Ford would join them in 1993 for ‘The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion,’ which hit No. 1 and sold two million copies in the US alone as they climbed to the top of the world. His guitars were also front and center of 1994’s ‘Amorica’ and ‘Three Snakes and One Charm.’
The fabled former lead guitarist with the Black Crowes has been the leader of his own bands, a guitarist of choice with Govt. Mule, Ben Harper, Izzy Stradlin, Booker T Jones and many others, and producer of acclaimed acts from Ryan Bingham to Phantom Limb. His outstanding new album will delight a legion of admirers who never knew he could embrace the wide open spaces of American roots music so brilliantly.
‘Holy Ghost’ is the next chapter in a unique Anglo-American collaboration. After producing the second album by English country-soul talents Phantom Limb in 2012, Marc asked the band’s Stew Jackson to return the favour. In sessions at Rockfield Studios (which in 1965 was acknowledged to be the world’s first residential studio) and Jackson’s own studio in Bath (UK), with his fellow Limb members, he helped Ford create this new career landmark. Marc’s wife Kirsten contributes vocals, and his son Elijah, who’s been working with Jackson on his own album project, adds guitars.
Ford, now living the quieter life in the Californian surf town of San Clemente, says: “One day it just dawned on me, wait a minute, Phantom Limb is the perfect band for this. I said ‘Stew, you allowed me to pull your baby apart and put it back together. I’ve never had a producer produce my own stuff. How about payback? You can do me now. I think I have some of the best songs I’ve ever written, and you’ve got a bitchin’ band.’ He just said ‘Get here.’”
As Ford himself says of the inspiring results, “it’s hopeful, in a dark way sometimes.” It’s the work of an artist who’s found the inner strength to recharge, personally and professionally. “It’s a reflection of my life,” he says.
Ford is set to tour Europe through the spring and summer with a US tour (to be announced) planned for fall in support of an album which is all set to amplify his already unparalleled reputation and add to his distinguished body of work.