Saturday, April 5, 2014

Robben Ford A Day In Nashville Mascot 2014

Neither inspired or inspiring...
 
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
 
An interesting release confirming two key points. Robben Ford is not a vocalist and not remotely close to being a "blues man" if you follow and understand the strict definitions that apply. That being said, A Day In Nashville is not a total train wreck. A Day In Nashville could be best thought of as "blues lite." Technically Ford hits all his marks and then some, artistically there is a disconnect and sterility to the sound that could have this easily passing as something coming from the smooth side of the improvisational street. Jeff Golub's Three Kings is a similar release that comes to mind. "Good" but not "great" finds A Day In Nashville as seemingly a throw away that is drawing mixed reviews from long time fans and critics alike.
 
There are some bright spots including "Top Down Blues" and "Poor Kelly Blues." After a delightful release of A list covers, the originals from A Day In Nashville simply don't measure up - as well. Another pitfall being the years of first call session work rear their ugly head in performances that are polished, slick and occasionally over produced. There is no edge, no grit, and no hint of spontaneity. A blues influenced recording should never sound as though it is sanitized for your protection. It is the pure talent of Robben Ford that keeps A Day In Nashville from sinking into the harmonic abysses.
 
An average recording...
3 Stars.
 
Tracks: Green Grass, Rainwater; Midnight Comes Too Soon; Ain't Drinkin' Beer No More; Top Down Blues; Different People; Cut You Loose; Poor Kelly Blues; Thump and Bump; Just Another Country Road.