Frazey Ford – Indian Ocean – A Review

Read our review of ‘Indian Ocean’ by singer Frazey Ford

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Showcase on Americanafest 2015 #6

Up until now, Canadian-born Frazey Ford is best known for her work as a member of the Vancouver trio The Be Good Tanyas.  Indian Ocean (2015 – Netwerk) is her second solo outing, the first being Obadiah which was released in 2010.

Indian Ocean reflects a good deal of feeling.  Take track four, “Done”:

” I was taking every hit from you…You drive-by-shooting son-of-a-bitch…And I’m done…Well you criticize by numbers…You hammer at the roots…Wait for me to fuck up to find yourself some proof…And I’m done…You’re just stoking the hatred of a story line…While you hide behind decorum and a fake smile”

Phew!  A break-up song with deep grooves.

The story behind the album is an interesting one.  Filmmaker Robert Gordon was working on a documentary on Memphis soul and in particular focusing on Al Green and legendary producer Willie Mitchell’s base Royal Studios in Memphis (a place I was lucky to visit in 2008 during Roy Young’s rehearsal for his appearance at New Orleans’ Jazz Fest that year).  After hearing one of Ford’s songs, he invited her to record at Royal.  What gives Indian Ocean an emotional and soulful edge for me is the use of The Hi Rhythm Section, the architects of the iconic sound that came out of that studio and in fact that great city.

Ford’s voice is soulful and uncommon, a high-pitched plea and an emotional caress around the (sometimes biting) lyrics.  The album has a nice touch of spontaneity about it as well.  The opening track “September Fields” is alluring with just a guitar and backing vocals, which enables Ford’s voice to cut through immediately commanding your attention.  Other highlights are “Runnin'” which has a seductive arrangement simmering in the background – it builds beautifully and organically, the aforementioned “Done” and “You Got Religion” which just drips with the best of Memphis-infused soul.

Indian Ocean is a fervid treat.  Frazey Ford is playing at the Americana Music Festival in Nashville this September and she’s now well entrenched on my ‘artist bucket list’.

Here’s the official video for “Done”:

 

 

Via footstompmusic

 

Read our review of ‘Indian Ocean’ by singer Frazey Ford

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Author: Rob Dickens

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