Deep Dive: Robben Ford, THE INSIDE STORY
40 years ago this month, Robben Ford released his debut album on Elektra Records, an LP on which the well-respected guitarist straddled the worlds of rock, jazz, and blues and created a wonderful musical amalgam.
Often compared to the efforts being released by Larry Carlton during this same era, THE INSIDE STORY features some great funky numbers (“Magic Sam,” “There’s No One Else,” “Tee Time for Eric”), some blues (“North Carolina,” “Need Somebody”), and even some pop, although it might depend on your definition of the word as to whether you personally feel that “For the One I Love” qualifies.
Not to undercut Ford’s efforts as a guitarist in any way, shape, or form, but there’s another reason why THE INSIDE STORY is so fondly remembered after four decades: the Steve Cropper-produced album served to introduce the world at large to the jazz band known as The Yellowjackets. The efforts of keyboardist Russell Ferrante, bassist Jimmy Haslip and drummer Ricky Lawson made such an impact that they’d end up releasing their own major-label album a mere two years later for Warner Brothers.
Ford continues to record new material to this day, and his decades of work have made an impact: Musician called him one of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of the 20th Century. But to truly get the inside story of Robben Ford, well, you really need to hear THE INSIDE STORY.
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