Marc Ford has been there and done that in the music biz. We know him best as the former lead guitarist of beloved rock and roll band The Black Crowes, but he’s also been involved in other groups; Burning Tree, Marc Ford & The Neptune Blues Club, Jefferson Steelfix and Fuzz Machine just to name a few. He’s back with a new solo blues/rock record, Holy Ghost. Marc himself has said that it is ‘a reflection of my life’, let’s see if the album lives up to his vision.
Holy Ghost starts off short and sweet with mellow opener If I’d Waited, questioning whether waiting longer would have brought on a change of feeling towards current circumstance; ending on ‘would it affect your point of view?’. Blue Sky is an upbeat and optimistic number, whereas Dancing Shoes brings on the melancholiness of finding somebody to mend to cure the hurt. Dream #26 is a nice sounding track, but the vocal in the chorus needed a bit more empowerment, the harmonies seemed to take over and shift the focus from Marc’s lead.
Nostalgia is explored in downbeat track In You, an ode to that special someone reminiscing over what was felt in the beginning of a special relationship; it wasn’t overdone, which really made it simple to acknowledge the expression of emotion in the song. I’m Free is one of the more upbeat songs on Holy Ghost, drawing on influences from roots. We are eased back into a blues/roots vibe with Just A Girl that is reminiscent of a past girl in Ford’s life, only to be serenaded by following track You Know What I Mean which touches lightly on the brutality of humanity.
On the homestretch, Turquoise Blue is another optimistic song that encourages you to leave your past life behind and begin again to start your new life. Sometimes brings out the big guns with heavy guitar riffs, power driven by those drums with that classic rock and roll feel; for some reason it just didn’t feel like we could expect another upbeat number, which was refreshing. Badge of Descension definitely darkens the album, it demonstrates the pain felt by somebody who is weighed down by the things they have done; the instrumentation really compliments that negative perspective. Lastly, final song Call Me Faithful wraps up the album on a graceful note, a song about self realisation found within somebody close to you.
Holy Ghost is definitely worth a listen; Marc Ford has the knack to deliver those heartfelt words and enchanting melodies and harmonies, with the instrumentation to back up his vision for the album. It addresses life on both personal and universal levels, easily relatable by those who have had plenty of life experience or those struggling to come to terms with their current outlook on their lives. Holy Ghost definitely demonstrates a matured musician who has or still will be trying to find himself, a great album for the optimists out there.