Robben Ford

parker

Member
Messages
3,490
These threads about Robben always bend my mind.

We're talking about a guy who has made his living playing the electric guitar since like '72, a guy who played with Jimmy Witherspoon, Charlie Musselwhite, the LA Express, The Yellow Jackets, Miles Davis - Miles 'freakin Davis, has his own solo career, has been a sideman for huge names like Joni Mitchel, George Harrison, Phil Lesh, Little Feat, Michael McDonald, Lionel Richie, and yet people still question his abilities and taste.

Blows my mind. I think he's one of the most skilled guitar players I've ever heard in any idiom, I think he sings just fine, and he's probably the best accompanist on guitar while he's singing that I've ever heard anywhere, ever.

Robben can stand and play well in so many idioms; blues, jazz, rock, funk, R&B. His song selection always has a strong nod to the past but with hip new arrangements, and he covers a lot of old gems, again from various idioms.

It's not hero worship I have for Robben - it's "props", due to a guy who's truly earned 'em the hard way, ON STAGE for everybody to hear.

Sheesh, I guess that's one of the 'virtues' of the internet - people express their opinions, however little insight they may have to offer.

Dana O.

As usual, well put Dana...
 

Trandy

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,765
Steven_ K, go to Utube and learn the chords to "Peace On My Mind" and get back to me on "musicality".
Better yet....write me a chart with the correct changes to "I Ain't Got Nothin' But The Blues".
 

Steven_K

Member
Messages
130
Yikes! I'm actually not all that down on Robben Ford, and from what I had heard of his playing, I was expecting a bit more from his albums. I never questioned his abilities - he's obviously a pretty phenomenal guitarist, and I do find a lot to appreciate in his playing - but that doesn't necessarily mean he makes great music. I did like the fusion playing from Straightjackets more. And yes, even if I'm not a professional musician, it is still OK for me to question if a successful and talented guitarist is still worth all the hype.

Anyways, I'll crawl back under my bridge now...

Edit: And I will give him definite props for singing even when it is not his strong suite.
 

FatTeleTom

Member
Messages
1,570
I should apologize for being cranky. Having a very rough week. But stealing music is not cool, so I hope that's not what you meant by the "buy" comment.

And yes, I think Robben is a total musical badass with soul for days.

But, while I think there are some objective standards that can be discussed, music is ultimately always in the ear of the listener.
 

Steven_K

Member
Messages
130
Well, I grabbed them from a friend's collection, so it is somewhere in the middle.

And I'll say too - I'm not a spectacular guitarist by any means, and the main reason I got them was because I wanted to find some great guitar solos to transcribe and learn. So far, I haven't found one that really makes me want to go nuts on it. And that was all my orig. post was about - apologies all around for the excessive trolling content.
 

russ6100

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,549
Steven K wrote:
Well, I grabbed them from a friend's collection, so it is somewhere in the middle.

And I'll say too - I'm not a spectacular guitarist by any means, and the main reason I got them was because I wanted to find some great guitar solos to transcribe and learn. So far, I haven't found one that really makes me want to go nuts on it. And that was all my orig. post was about - apologies all around for the excessive trolling content.
So you don't dig him.
Move on.
Save yer money - maybe spend it on that Dale Carnegie course....
 

SHM

Member
Messages
866
How come guitarplayer often write about other players/artists that they find overrated, who´s tone sucks, ect, ect.

It takes 101 guitarplayer to play a gig. One to play and 100 to tell how much better they could do it, if only they got the chance.

How about using the internet to share player that you find nice and inspiering. If there´s something you don´t like, let it pass, move on to something that you do like.

Spread GOOD KARMA.

Sorry for the gramma and spelling.

Peace.
 

FlyingVBlues

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
5,108
I'm going to preface this by saying I love Robben Ford's playing and I have the utmost respect for him as a musician. With that said, is this little online community so narrow minded that it doesn't have room for someone with a differing opinion? If the OP doesn't connect with Robben's playing so what? It doesn't' make him a troll -- just a individual who doesn't particularly care for Robben Ford.


FVB
 

icarusi

Member
Messages
498
Which is it? Or is he revered far and wide on any guitar forum?
Couldn't really care, *but* hearing his solo on 'Help the Poor' got me playing again. I heard the name and track but it took me another 18 months to find the album it was on. I was always a bit hybrid in my playing and that track showed me where blues based playing could expand.

OTOH hearing Holdsworth play on 'Hazard Profile Part4' in 1975 nearly stopped me dead. It may sound a bit conventional now but in '75 it was revolutionary.
 

Dana Olsen

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
7,909
I'm going to preface this by saying I love Robben Ford's playing and I have the utmost respect for him as a musician. With that said, is this little online community so narrow minded that it doesn't have room for someone with a differing opinion? If the OP doesn't connect with Robben's playing so what? It doesn't' make him a troll -- just a individual who doesn't particularly care for Robben Ford.


FVB
Good point. Apologies for giving the OP a little more weight than was necessary. I get a little tired of what I perceive as "Robben bashing", there's a little stored up energy in my post.(GRIN - OOOPS, I gotta reset that self-restraint button!)

Robben's recordings don't, IMHO, don't highlight his skills like hearing him live does. Go see him, Steven K - it'll be a gas, and nearly every show I've seen of his (that's probably 25 shows total, 5 as the opener) he's played something that just slayed me. Recordings are cool, but to get the real measure of THIS cat, go see him live - you'll thank yourself for doing so.

To me, seeing Robben is like seeing Michael Jordan play basketball - even if he's not shooting and dunking, just watching the way he moves on the court is a real education.

Thanks, Dana O.
 

epluribus

Member
Messages
9,170
Yikes! I'm actually not all that down on Robben Ford, and from what I had heard of his playing, I was expecting a bit more from his albums. I never questioned his abilities - he's obviously a pretty phenomenal guitarist, and I do find a lot to appreciate in his playing - but that doesn't necessarily mean he makes great music. I did like the fusion playing from Straightjackets more. And yes, even if I'm not a professional musician, it is still OK for me to question if a successful and talented guitarist is still worth all the hype.

Anyways, I'll crawl back under my bridge now...

Edit: And I will give him definite props for singing even when it is not his strong suite.
I think it's a legit question you have.

Not all tastes are acquired straight off. I listened to The Weather Report for about a year before it all clicked. Dug 'em ever since.

Robben's is a different take on everything he plays, R&B included--a good thing IMHO. Not surprising that it doesn't sound "right." Seems to me he's always trying to advance any genre he plays.

As for any sterility in his work, strikes me that's down to his rigs. (Sorry, D-men.) Way too perfect, hence they don't respond in as evocative a way as less schooled machinery. Almost sounds like what guitar would be if the perfect guitar MIDI font was invented. What I'd really like to hear more of from his sound is dramatic presence. I want to hear less fancy pristine gear and much more of Robben.

All that said, the Big Impression: What really hits home with me is a consistent thread in all of his playing--exuberance. Every note, it jumps out at you. It just sounds like he's purely lovin' everything he plays, that's just him. Unfortunately, exuberance and blues don't exactly jibe all the time, and I think that outlook on life is part of what makes his R&B "different." The guy sounds like a happy person.

Anyhoo, I get a huge kick out of his work. For you, it might take time to grow on ya, it might never get there. Shoot, I'm learning Dream Theater-type stuff, I can see the technical value of it for sure...but I still can't say I exactly like it.

--Ray
 

karmadave

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,420
I personally don't care if people like Robben or not. He's a very talented musician, in my my mind, and I enjoy most of his music very much. I've also attended one of his seminars, so I 'get' where he's coming from.

Just because some folks don't like a particular artists' music doesn't make them a troll IMHO. However, I do think it's bad karma to trash someone on a public BBS like TGP...

-KD
 

Beagle1

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
376
Well, I grabbed them from a friend's collection, so it is somewhere in the middle.

And I'll say too - I'm not a spectacular guitarist by any means, and the main reason I got them was because I wanted to find some great guitar solos to transcribe and learn. So far, I haven't found one that really makes me want to go nuts on it. And that was all my orig. post was about - apologies all around for the excessive trolling content.
I've been a big RF fan for years...love his playing, songs, and singing. You might want to check out the "New Morning: Live In Paris" DVD. Great tone and performances all around, but in particular the solo from "Help The Poor" is pretty hot stuff. If that doesn't do it for you, then RF may just not be your cup of tea, which is cool by me.
 

Red Suede

Member
Messages
2,829
Well FlyingVBlues, people should be prepared for the answers they get on a question they raise. No one should have to apologize for their opinions on the thread. That's why he wrote it, isn't it? I'm going to give my opinion if I deem it worth responding to. If it's not important enough for me, i'd ignore it and not comment.
 

gaspedals.net

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
671
Miles Davis called him and asked him to join his band! What more needs to be said.
Miles who?

...wait that was the brilliant trumpet guy

or was he the soulless trumpet guy with that flat, generic tone and no songwriting ability?
 

slopeshoulder

Senior Member
Messages
7,874
if ya ain't got it, pick up the first yellowjackets album. Yellow cover with bees on it (go figure). If you ain't heard it, type 'monmouth college fight song' robben ford, into you tube. That's robben ford, imo.

Mike
+1000!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

karmadave

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,420
I actually enjoy the 'Blues' Robben more than then 'Fusion' Robben. Especially any of Robben's recordings with Jimmy Witherspoon. Those two were pure magic IMHO...

-KD
 




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