Marc Ford is a name you might recognise if you're a die-hard blues rock fan, given that he was the guitarist for the highly acclaimed The Black Crowes between 1991 and 1997. There he contributed to such praised albums like 'The Southern Harmony And Musical Companion' and 'Amorica' and he hasn't stopped there; 'Holy Ghost' is his fifth solo album and he's certainly delivered a fine collection.
Throughout the album, you are treated to around 45 minutes' worth of warm, well-executed country music. If you're into this style of music, then you will more than likely be pleased with the gruff but melodic vocals, blissful acoustic guitars and gentle piano, as well as the occasional resonant twang of an electric guitar. It's a nice enough album to listen to, but there's nothing here that really makes it stand out from its genre. Much of the tracklist is markedly unvaried, but where Ford lacks in originality and diversity, he more than makes up for it in heart and soul.
Most of the album features themes of romance, mainly love lost and/or unrequited, which he plays to with impressive lyrical dexterity and heartfelt honesty. Some key examples of his lyrical prowess are, "Don't you take him for a fool, cause he don't know the rules, bring it all round again, what he don't need now is another friend" ('Dancing Shoes'), "Jealousy creeps on the scene, it can burn faster than matches on gasoline" ('You Know What I Mean') and "A smile from you can't make me new and raise me from the dead" ('Turquoise Blue').
Like I implied earlier, this is a primarily calm and peaceful album, but, credit where it's due, it will occasionally break out of being something just to lie down to. 'I'm Free' is actually quite danceable with its groovy riff; not to the extent that you'll go absolutely mental, but enough to make your feet tap and your hips shake. 'Sometimes' was a memorable highlight, opening with distorted guitar stabs and an upbeat, fun piano line.
If you're not particularly into your country music, this album won't change your opinion of the genre or ease you into it with its typical sound. But if you are, and are just looking for something to scratch you itch, you will probably enjoy this album.
Best three songs: You Know What I Mean, Turquoise Blue, Sometimes.
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