Ford & Landau at the Belly Up


Silver Supporting Member
Caught Trial by Fire with Robben Ford and Michael Landau last night at the Belly Up Tavern. Interesting show. They played mostly material from their still unreleased "Trail by Fire" cd. The material was both instrumental and vocal. Robben and Michael both sang. It's interesting stuff. Not sure how to describe it really. Quirky blues rocK? Hard to say. I think it's best to just check out the music instead of me trying to describe it. I did enjoyed it.
The opening act The Grass Heat was quite good. Heavy '70's blues rock influence. Good rockin' 3 piece band.
Gear wise Robben had his usual Dumble rig. No surprises there. He mainly played his Tele. He did use his 335 on a few songs.
Michael Landau surprisingly used a pedal board plugged in to a Fender Deville. Looked like the 2X12 model. It was sitting on top of a small ext. cab. He had a couple of Strats with him a red and black one. He only played the tomato soup colored one. I couldn't get a good look at the pedal board but I did see a Arion chorus an a Maxon distortion on there. Also some sort of Boss volume pedal looking thing and a red wah.
All in all it was a very enjoyable evening.
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There is a nice article on Michael Landau in the latest issue of Vintage Guitar. His Fiesta Red Strat is a 63'.


I also caught the show last night at the Belly Up and I agree with GTRJoe, the phrasings and textures of his "Trail By Fire" are hard to describe ... it appears that Robben has stretched his musical and technical intellect and dexterity to new levels. It was nice to see something unexpected and quite enjoyable.

Robben Ford's creame tele, stage left and Michael Landau's tomato soup (to quote GTRJoe) strat, stage right, were joined in the middle by the awesome bass work of Jimmy Haslip and the extrodinary stick work of drummer Gary Novak.

Quoting Robben... "the new CD, Trial By Fire should be out sometime in March ... something that is now out of their hands". I'm looking forward to its release as it will certainly add yet another musicial color to my Robben Ford CD collection.

Guitar Dave T

There is a nice article on Michael Landau in the latest issue of Vintage Guitar. His Fiesta Red Strat is a 63'.

Great article. I love Michael's dig at the lack of talent in achieving a balanced stage mix in a lot of musicians today. Something about, "they've got those f*****g in-ear monitors shoved into their heads and their off in their own world."

Mark Robinson

Gold Supporting Member
... it appears that Robben has stretched his musical and technical intellect and dexterity to new levels. It was nice to see something unexpected and quite enjoyable....

Agreed! We caught Robben with Travis Carlton and Toss Panos a few weeks ago and it appeared to me that Robben's chops are WAY the hell up!

I've seen him live at least a dozen times maybe more, since the "Talk to You Daughter" release. He's a passionate player and I happen to think he's an exellent vocalist too. He's not Jimmy Reed, Muddy, or Greg Allman, but do we need more clones of that.....?

Landau is a scary monster, what a combo! I need to get my tired ass up to Agoura tonight....

Guitar Dave T

Landau and Ford WOULD be a heck of a combo. Too bad there's a vital enough live music scene on the West Coast that these guys really don't have to book tour dates here in Texas.


Gotta see if I can make one of the Seattle shows!

New project featuring Robben Ford and Michael Landau - "Trial By Fire"

Guitarists Robben Ford and Michael Landau have teamed up with drummer Gary Novak and bassist Jimmy Haslip for a new band project entitled Trial By Fire. The group has already recorded an album for Mike Varney's label to be released this coming spring. This killer group has also scheduled a string of live shows starting next month. Here is the most current list of dates and locations I've been able to find. I'll post more info as it becomes available. Go see this band if you can!!

"Trial By Fire” featuring Robben Ford, Michael Landau, Jimmy Haslip, Gary Novak

Jan 07 - Solana Beach, CA - Belly Up Tavern
Jan 08 - Agoura Hills, CA - Canyon Club
Jan 09 - Phoenix, AZ - The Compound Grill
Jan 12 - Santa Cruz, CA - Kuumbwa
Jan 14 - Oakland, CA - Yoshi's
Jan 15 - Oakland, CA - Yoshi's
Jan 16 - Oakland, CA - Yoshi's
Jan 17 - Oakland, CA - Yoshi's
Jan 21 - Seattle, WA - Jazz Alley
Jan 22 - Seattle, WA - Jazz Alley
Jan 23 - Seattle, WA - Jazz Alley
Jan 24 - Seattle, WA - Jazz Alley


Gold Supporting Member
Damn! I may have to see if there are any tickets left for one of the Yoshi's shows...

Ian Anderson

Agreed with the comments above. I caught the show at the Belly Up last night and it was a good show. I'd never seen Robben that happy and animated. They all looked like they were enjoying themselves. I'd like to see them after a few more shows under their belts and they stretch out a bit more.

multifoil 88

Yeah Great Show There was a little "jamming" at the end on some songs even Ford Say

"hey is our first show give us a couple of days "

But It was really inspiring to see those two Monsters in the same stage

Hearing landau With that minimum rig got me thinking to sell my rack (again) LOL

And finally its really cool to see how much he uses the Guitar, I mean he uses so much the Volume Pot, Tone Pot, changes Pickups , Sometimes I play all night with just 2 changes of pickups

Some LQ iphone Pix

If you got the chance, go to see those guys you deserve it 8)


Wow, had no idea those two guys go at least this far back (though you can't hear Landau at all):

I'll definitely be picking up their new release.

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