I met Elijah Ford a few years ago when he was 18 during a tour with his father Marc Ford (Black Crowes, Ben Harper). At that time, Elijah Ford was already an amazing musician. Elijah also toured as Ryan Bingham's bassist in The Dead Horses.
Elijah Ford's debut album, Upon Waking, showcases his rare musicianship. Ford wrote all ten compositions on this new disc that was recorded at Pitchfork Sound in Anahuac, Texas. Marc Ford produced Upon Waking, and plays on 8 of the 10 tunes.
The melodic "Surprise Surprise" opens Upon Waking and promises green pastures ahead--one of this collection's strongest tracks. The song features real DNA osmosis between Ford the Elder and Younger on the genetic-coded guitar playing. "Damn The Days" begins with a melancholy intro that morphs into a courageous footstomper where Ford sings: "Damn the days with open eyes/Denial is no place to hide."
The mandolin-laced "On Your Side" emits a slick hillbilly pop-quality. "Rejoice", a moody gem, features Marc Ford playing some incandescent pedal steel as well as Elijah Ford's resonating lyrical images. "Realistic" emerges as a driving song that veers towards a Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers avenue. This track features only Marc & Elijah Ford with Matthew Smith playing drums.
"Concerning Your Request" retains a 60s-English vibe regarding the stripped down sonic quality, but the message proves timeless in "ethics of the present day". Elijah Ford plays solo acoustic guitar and sings alone on "The Distance Between", which verifies his songwriting ability and musical aptitude. No fluff on this fine number.
"Let Me Count The Ways" injects a shot of soulful funk in the mix where Elijah Ford handles the piano and organ duties, while his father plays bass and slicing guitar. The sharp and venemous tune called "A Common Place" emits a subterranean spook. On the closer, "Skeptik", Elijah Ford plays all the instruments.
The colorful musical tapestry of Upon Waking creates a patchwork quilt of interesting sounds.