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Trial by Audience

Maybe the name of the band should be Trial by Audience. New band, new music. The frontman, blues-rock guitarist Robben Ford, said it was the first time they'd played it for anyone. It was groundbreaking, but commercially viable? Ford said they have an album ready, but for reasons "beyond their control it hasn't been released yet." Hmm...

The music: it was as if Robben said we're going to have a new band that rocks, but all the chords we play have to be jazz chords -- 9ths, 13ths, etc. Not your average three-chords-and-the-truth band. Interspersed in the music were enough Ford licks to keep this fan happy. His guitar playing was masterful.

They started off with a familiar song, "Just Like It Is," and then delved into the unknown. Halfway through the show they announced a song called "The Underwear Song." I think someone in the audience called it "The Underwear Bomber Song." Overall the new music was less than enthusiastically received. About 50 minutes in they went into full-blown blues mode, which got the crowd going. They revived the blues staple "Spoonful" in a creative, well-received rendition.

The additional guitarist, Mike Landau, is a very laid back guitar-slinger in the vein of Jeff Beck, wrangling a variety of sounds from his Stratocaster. He did sing more than Ford, but I couldn't hear the vocals as I was happily blasted by Ford's amp. The addition of the accomplished Yellowjackets veteran Jimmy Haslip was puzzling; his talent was not showcased here. I was waiting for a solo that never came.

  • Concert: Trial by Fire
  • Show date: January 7, 2010
  • Venue: Belly Up
  • Seats: front and center
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Maybe the name of the band should be Trial by Audience. New band, new music. The frontman, blues-rock guitarist Robben Ford, said it was the first time they'd played it for anyone. It was groundbreaking, but commercially viable? Ford said they have an album ready, but for reasons "beyond their control it hasn't been released yet." Hmm...

The music: it was as if Robben said we're going to have a new band that rocks, but all the chords we play have to be jazz chords -- 9ths, 13ths, etc. Not your average three-chords-and-the-truth band. Interspersed in the music were enough Ford licks to keep this fan happy. His guitar playing was masterful.

They started off with a familiar song, "Just Like It Is," and then delved into the unknown. Halfway through the show they announced a song called "The Underwear Song." I think someone in the audience called it "The Underwear Bomber Song." Overall the new music was less than enthusiastically received. About 50 minutes in they went into full-blown blues mode, which got the crowd going. They revived the blues staple "Spoonful" in a creative, well-received rendition.

The additional guitarist, Mike Landau, is a very laid back guitar-slinger in the vein of Jeff Beck, wrangling a variety of sounds from his Stratocaster. He did sing more than Ford, but I couldn't hear the vocals as I was happily blasted by Ford's amp. The addition of the accomplished Yellowjackets veteran Jimmy Haslip was puzzling; his talent was not showcased here. I was waiting for a solo that never came.

  • Concert: Trial by Fire
  • Show date: January 7, 2010
  • Venue: Belly Up
  • Seats: front and center
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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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