Legendary guitarist singer songwriter producer Marc Ford came back to Georgetown, MA on November 2, 2019. The band performed at Jim and Michelle Galvin’s second annual charity concert to benefit the local food pantry and masonic lodge, and it was a surreal experience. Tucked away on a back road of this tiny historic Massachusetts suburb is La Grange Hall- an intimate room beautifully laid out with incredible acoustics.
La Grange Hall is one of the most welcoming throwback venues. The audience gathers inside this town’s historic LaGrange Hall and one can only hope that the venue will continue to bring live music; this is an environment that puts the bands and their fans above all else.
Marc’s band included the renowned drummer Phil Jones who performed drums and percussion on Tom Petty’s Full Moon Fever LP with iconic songs “Free Fallin,’” “Running Down a Dream,” and “I Won’t Back Down.” He played drums on The Rolling Stones record “Voodoo Lounge” and with Roy Orbison on the acclaimed comeback studio smash “You Got It,” as well as performing and recording with Neil Young, Bob Dylan and a laundry list of who’s who in various genres of rock music.
Rounding out the three piece was Marc’s son and burgeoning multi-instrumentalist, singer songwriter, producer, Elijah Ford. His services are in high demand having toured playing lead guitar for Juanita Stein for a newsworthy tour opening for The Killers, and a tour with Lola Kirke. He wrote songs with members of The Killers, Juanita Stein, Red Shahan, and a slew of others and produced three new records for Tom Jenkins, Sarah Burton, and Austin Meade.
The capacity crowd had plenty of room to shake in the wide open space, and Marc got them moving- kicking off his set with the 11th cut off of his acclaimed Neptune Blues Club LP “Smilin.’” Its mid-tempo swampy groove was the perfect introduction to a night filled of solo songs that spanned his entire career.
Marc’s playing was incredibly fluid and soul moving. Each song’s guitar solo was better then the last, transcending the listener at each peak. I liken his playing as a performer that picked up where Jimi Hendrix left off. There may be no other guitar tone as original, distinct, and instantly recognizable as Ford’s.
The new “Lost Boy” from the just released Magpie Salute record “High Water II” and features famed bluegrass songwriter/fiddle player Alison Krauss on vocals and fiddle, was a highlight of the show. Elijah took the vocal duties of Alison and harmonized perfectly with Marc lifting the song to a sweet and melodious listen.
The show ended with the one two punch of Ford classics, Weary & Wired’s Neil Youngesque “Smoke Signals,” and the rarely played raucous “Two Mules and a Rainbow” from Marc’s debut “It’s About Time” and the audience reacted with thunderous applause. One thing is for certain the family, friends, and fans Marc has created through his music will be waiting with baited breadth for his next move.
Boston’s Fire in the Field opened the show with a Memphis Blues inspired set. Mike Moore’s flawless finger picking got the audience foot stomping and hand clapping during standout performances of “Jimmy Rover” and “Death Don’t Have No Mercy.” Accompanied by the very talented Andrew Blowen on keyboards and tight rhythm section of Jeff Badalato on bass and Jared Graham on drums, the band won fans over with their exceptional and exhilarating set.
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