Robben Ford

Blues Guitarist

7:30 First Floor Dining, First Floor Booths & West Rail SOLD OUT!


Robben Ford is one of the premier electric guitarists today, particularly known for his blues playing as well as his ability to be comfortable in a variety of musical contexts. A five-time Grammy nominee, he has played with artists as diverse as Joni Mitchell, Jimmy Witherspoon, Miles Davis, George Harrison, Phil Lesh, Bonnie Raitt, Claus Ogerman, Michael McDonald, Bob Dylan, John Mayall, Greg Allman and many others.

Robben’s first chosen instrument was the saxophone, which he began to play at age ten and continued to play into his early twenties. He began to teach himself guitar at age thirteen upon hearing the two guitarists from The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Michael Bloomfield and Elvin Bishop. In the late 1960’s, Ford frequented the Fillmore and Winterland Auditoriums in San Francisco to see Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Cream, Led Zeppelin, Albert King, B.B. King and all of the progenitors of blues. “It was an incredible time for electric guitar,” Robben recalls.

After high school, Robben and his brothers Patrick (a blues drummer) and Mark (a blues harmonica player) formed The Charles Ford Blues Band (named after their father), and recorded for the Arhoolie label. Robben (on sax and guitar) and Patrick went on to tour the U.S. with Chicago harmonica player Charlie Musselwhite, again recording for Arhoolie.

Robben was later asked to perform with Joni Mitchell and the LA Express. “The two years I spent with Joni were the most formative of my musical life. Joni was just brilliant and very accessible, and the members of The L.A. Express became good friends and teachers. It was great.”

After leaving LA Express in 1976, Ford recorded his solo album “The Inside Story” with the band that later became the Yellowjackets. He also later went on to work with Miles Davis, Jing Chi, Gregg Allman, and Phil Lesh.

Most recently (2010) Robben released “Renegade Creation,” with a group of musical friends who have played in different combinations and contexts over the years and decided to focus on a project together recording for Mike Varney’s Shrapnel label. This is a rock band, Robben’s first, and the results have people talking: “Dare I say everyone who hears it, loves it!” The other members are guitarist Mike Landau, bassist Jimmy Haslip and drummer Gary Novak.

Robben has been touring the world off and on with the legendary guitarist Larry Carlton, the two producing “Live in Tokyo”, and an “unplugged” DVD from Paris. Collaboration seems to be the current M.O.

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“An accomplished guitarist who taught himself to play aged just 13 and the son of a country and western singer/guitarist, Ford has won Grammies, toured with BeatleGeorge Harrison and won legions of fans in the process. Truth hears his wealth of experience come in to its own, with Ford’s flawless guitar playing, emotional song writing and warming vocal all battling for the limelight.” – Elle J Small, BBC.CO.UK

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