Weary and Wired, the new release from ex (once again) Black Crowes
guitarist extraordinaire, Marc Ford,
is all over the place in style and influence, and overflowing with melody and vibrant guitar tone.
Ford’s vocal nuance evokes Chris Robinson in places. He doesn’t really sound like him, but it’s easy to imagine Robinson singing the melody to much of the material. There’s a lot more lead guitar and improvisation on this CD than on Crowes records. And again, many influences are prevalent, like the obvious punk vibe in opener ‘Featherweight Dreamland’ and Neil Young presence in ‘Smoke Signals’. Keep in mind that these are comparable influences I’m talking about, as the album is fresh, and completely Marc Ford in essence...
Weary and Wired is an extraordinary collection of songs, and that’s coming from a fan who would usually rather hear Ford alongside the Robinson Brothers and the rest of the Black Crowes than in any other setting. His current sobriety, supposedly the main reason for leaving the Crowes, appears to be paying off, as his guitar playing is top notch. His voice is mediocre, yet listenable and easy on the ears. Weary and Wired is more laid back and less extravagant than It’s About Time, his previous effort, and most of the recording is done as a trio. Nevertheless, if you liked the first one, chances are you’ll like this one as well. Though fresh, lively, and very American sounding, the essence of pure rock and roll is its most unique quality...