Robben Ford Unveils New Single 'Balafon'

Article Contributed by Devious Planet | Published on Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Robben Ford is pleased to announce the release of his new single "Balafon" off of his upcoming August 27th release, Pure via earMUSIC (distributed by BFD / The Orchard in North America.)  About his new single, Robben states, “Balafon was one of the first two songs written for Pure. I wanted a beautiful chordal melody and then a shift to a very strong “twangy” riff to contrast. Between, there is a pensive moment to set up a powerful guitar climax!”

With nine unique tracks, Pure is Ford's first wholly instrumental studio album since 1997's Tiger Walk. It features the guitar virtuoso's tremendous music vocabulary of jazz, blues, and rock. Some of the exceptional guest musicians featured are Nate Smith, Toss Panos, and Shannon Forest.

About the album, Robben says “Pure is unlike any recording I’ve ever done. I’ve always been a traditionalist in the way I’ve worked in the studio, bring a great band into a great room with a great engineer, track songs for three to five days, do any overdubbing necessary, then, mix and master. I started Pure in that same way. But, somehow the influence of other musicians on the music, which is inevitable, always felt a little off. It became clear to me that I had to shape this new music myself from the ground up. My engineer and co-producer, Casey Wasner, proved invaluable in making that happen and most of the music you’ll hear in this recording was accomplished by the two of us working together in his studio, Purple House, getting the right shape and feel to the music, then adding bass and drums after the fact. Having worked in this way, I feel that Pure is perhaps the most complete representation of my personal musical vision. Previous recordings having been products of a period of development that lead to the music presented here. It’s been very satisfying to have shaped my own compositions so thoroughly and to deliver something so completely my own.”

The five-time Grammy nominee has played with artists as diverse as Joni Mitchell, Jimmy Witherspoon, Miles Davis, George Harrison, Phil Lesh, Bonnie Raitt, Michael McDonald, Bob Dylan, John Mayall, Gregg Allman, John Scofield, Susan Tedeschi, Keb Mo, Larry Carlton, Davis Staples, Brad Paisley, and many others.

Robben's prior release, Purple House (2018), featured a remarkable collection of songs that utilized Ford’s enlightened approach to composition and production. Exploring the range of the studio with a fresh perspective, he weaves in and out of surprising musical moments, ear-wormy hooks, and thoughtful lyrical themes. His sophisticated approach to the blues is evident throughout, yet the record is far more diverse regarding song structure and style.

In 2015, Ford released Into The Sun, which debuted at #2 on the Billboard Blues Chart and was also nominated for a Grammy in the Contemporary Blues category. It featured guests on that release were Warren Haynes, Keb’Mo, Robert Randolph, ZZ Ward, Sonny Landreth and Tyler Bryant. 

An important and essential component of Robben’s career is his commitment to teaching and passing on what he’s learned over the past 40 years to current and future musicians. His instructional videos and clinics over this time have culminated in a collaboration with TrueFire and the birth of the Robben Ford Guitar Dojo. The wealth of his expertise and creativity is generously presented in these state-of-the-art productions, and will be, for years to come.


Blues Express w/Bill Evans @ 7:30pm 
Differdange, Luxembourg

Montreux Jazz Festival w/Bill Evans @ 7:30pm 
Montreux, Switzerland

Stupinigi Sonic Park w/Bill Evans @ 9:00pm 
Nichelino, Italy

Sopron drum festival w/Bill Evans @ 7:30pm 
Sopron, Hungary

Waukesha Rotary BluesFest @ 7:30pm 
Delafield, WI, United States

Memorial Hall OTR @ 8:00pm 
Kelly Richey
Cincinnati, OH, United States

City Winery Chicago @ 7:00pm 
Chicago, IL, United States

City Winery Philadelphia @ 7:30pm 
Philadelphia, PA, United States

Center For Arts In Natick @ 8:00pm 
Natick, MA, United States

StageOne at FTC @ 7:30pm 
Fairfield, CT, United States

Daryl's House @ 8:00pm 
Pawling, NY, United States

Album will be available in Red or Black Vinyl / Digital / CD

Pre-order Pure here.

Pre-save Pure here.


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