Watching Robben Ford take the stage is equal parts gratifying, awe-inspiring, and challenging—a perfect storm of creativity and emotion that results in some seriously good music. As soon as he plays his first note, you realize that you’re in the presence of a bonafide guitar master. With five Grammy nominations, a three-decade-long solo career, and a resume that includes Miles Davis, Joni Mitchell, and George Harrison, his accomplishments reflect the versatility and musicality of someone who has pursued their true calling. During a live performance, Robben is acutely tuned in, feeding off of the energy of the audience, and fully prepared to throw you a curve ball at any moment. In other words, it’s an experience not to be missed.
As of 2018, this long-time Californian has relocated to Nashville in search of new musical inspiration. Embraced by the local scene and fellow guitar master, Vince Gill, Ford is happy to find a new home in this eclectic musical melting pot. An avid songwriter with an inclination towards production, Ford excels at spending time in the studio and working on a variety of projects. This new era of creative output features him at the helm, highlighting both up-and-coming artists as well as some of the best instrumentalists that “Music City” has to offer.
Ford’s latest release, Purple House (2018),focuses on his current touring band of Ryan Madora (bass), Derrek Phillips (drums), and Casey Wasner (guitar and co-producer). With a fresh approach to production, Purple House brings together eloquent storytelling, inspired guitar work, and guest appearances by Shemekia Copeland and two members of the group Bishop Gunn, Travis McCready and Drew Smithers.
From his early years of touring with Charlie Musselwhite and Jimmy Witherspoon, to the formation of The L.A. Express, The Yellowjackets, and his own band, The Blue Line, Robben has proven himself to be one of the premier guitarists in blues, jazz, and R&B. He enjoys sharing his knowledge with fellow musicians through clinics, online courses in collaboration with TrueFire, and the Robben Ford Guitar Dojo.