...Marc Ford & the Neptune Blues Club
By the time Marc Ford hits Ramona, his new album, The Vulture, will have been released. And some of the critics who had written him off before are now saying he’s making the best music of his career. Ford’s backing band is called the Neptune Blues Club, and while they do spend much time garage-jamming the blues, there’re roots-rockers on the album that are on a par with music such as the Stones were making back during the 1970s Exile sessions. Maybe even Stones-ier: of all the bands that Ford has performed in, the Black Crowes surely studied their elders and took that disrespectful, loud, and pompous vibe one step further.
Ford played lead and slide guitar in the best of the Black Crowes lineups, of which there have been more than a few. I had a chance to talk with drummer Steve Gorman once, and he hinted around that a little bit of the Crowes’ fellowship went a long way. “Less is more,” he’d said of their working relationship. Ford replaced the Crowes’ founding guitarist and proved to be the perfect fit for the toothy rhythm guitar of Rich Robinson. He stayed for three of my favorite Black Crowes records, Amorica, Three Snakes and One Charm, and The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion. He named his first post-Crowes band the Uninvited.
There’s a local connection: Ford added guitar to an album by Roy Ruiz Clayton. In return, the hometown artist did the cover art for one of Ford’s solo records. Born in Los Angeles, Ford, 50, lives just uphill from us in San Clemente. Peripatetic: he played in a Pink Floyd tribute band for a while, started several solo projects, gigged/recorded with Ben Harper and Gov’t. Mule, even went on tour with Booker T. before putting together the Neptune Blues Club, a safe harbor for the gut-level Americana that he does best.
Boxcar Chief and Triple Deez also perform.