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Marc Ford

Holy Ghost – 2014 (Naim Edge)

Reviewed by Dan MacIntosh

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CDs by Marc Ford

Marc Ford has primarily made a name for himself as a topnotch guitarist, particularly as a member of The Black Crowes, but "Holy Ghost" finds the musician stepping out with a country-tinged solo album. He may not be the fiery performer Chris (The Black Crowes) Robinson is - which is likely why he provided instrumentation instead of lead vocals for that band - but he's nevertheless an effective communicator.

The first song that jumps out is "Dream #26" that, although it has Bob Dylan-like title, is actually a thoughtful, bluesy meditation along the lines of John Hiatt. During the chorus, he sings about people dancing and doing their thing. And when he sings, "Easy like Sunday/The Reverend Al Green," it conjures up beautiful picture of people enjoying each others' company, where music makes everybody forget about their problems for a short while. Oh, and you can never go wrong when name-dropping the good Reverend.

Ford also has a strong spiritual side, which shines through during "In You." It sounds like a love song directed to God. "You turned my world around," he even sings at one point. Of course, this could also be a lyric about the love of a girl. It works both ways.

The album closes with "Call Me Faithful," which ends the collection on a folk-ish note that brings Nick Drake to mind. Unlike Drake, though, who sounded depressed and makes his listeners equally depressed, Ford is far more hopeful. He sounds like a man confessing his sins at a church altar call, on it. This concludes this fine album on a refreshingly sincerely repentant note.