Just a Whiny Little English Boy Singing the Blues

Singer-songwriter David Ford tackles two different musical approaches with his latest releases, with one foot in the past and one taking a creative step forward.

Ford is familiar with the process of releasing period EPs ahead of a traditional album release, as he did with his Pages Torn from the Electrical Sketchbook series in 2008-2009. Those EPs were a mixed bag of Ford songs then in development, many of which got tidied up and re-recorded for Let the Hard Times Roll. On Ford 4.1, Ford starts off this next series of EPs with a concentrated sound, paying homage to American music, most specifically blues with a slice of Americana. [Read more…]

David Ford Goes to Hell and Back

David Ford has always done a great job at balancing a knack for beautiful melodies and earnest lyrics with a sharp and often angry wit. It has always informed his music, which can range from odes to beautiful relationships (“Song for the Road”) to venomous attacks on warmongering governments (“State of the Union”). Thus it’s no big surprise that he had no problem translating his lyrical poetry to the prose format of a book (particularly if you follow his insightful Twitter feed). In I Choose This: How to Nearly Make It In The Music Industry, he goes beyond the constraints of 140 characters and Verse-Chorus-Verse to expound on his journeys and observations through the record industry landscape.

Ford tells his tale chronologically, starting with his beginnings but without dwelling on the type of overwrought life history that you’ll find in lots of self-important autobiographies. His interest is in getting to the meat of the story immediately and it truly starts with his endeavors starting a career in music. The chapters are formatted like essays, often tied together by a common theme, but also very digestible in and of themselves. Ford never holds back on any of his topics, with brutally honest stories about former bandmates, producers and record industry execs. The section of the book detailing Columbia Records (and Rick Rubin) dropping Ford is frustratingly profound and fantastically insightful. But the way Ford soldiers on in the face of an industry astray and directionless is inspiring, entertaining and always humorous.

I Choose This is a fantastic view of the record industry from an artist who has struggled getting his foot in the door and ultimately back out of it, and who represents a new breed of truly independent artists making a career out of it on the very fringes of the music industry. As the sole voice in the book (Ford is not assisted by a ghostwriter), and a very eloquent and incredibly candid voice at that, Ford’s tales are a brilliant, engaging read and will only make you feel that the wrong people succeed in this business.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

Middle 8: October 19, 2011

A departure from the repetitive verse-chorus-verse of your typical Top 10s, The Vinyl Recliner presents our inaugural Middle 8 countdown…

Ben Folds FiveTell Me What I Did
One of three new recordings done by Ben Folds Five for Folds’ retrospective of his career with and without Five, “Tell Me What I Did” is most like early BFF, with a raucous riff and clever lyrics (both written by bassist Robert Sledge).

Sleeping At Last Noble Aim
The indie rock band wrapped up it’s 12-EP Yearbook project with September, which includes the autumnal and inspiring “Noble Aim,” with sweet harmonies by Katie Herzig. [Read more…]

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