Released: 30th March
Released By: Mascot Label Group
Robben Ford – Lead Guitar and Vocals
With Special Guests: –
1.o Rose Of Sharon
2.0 Day Of The Planets
3.0 Howlin’ At The Moon
4.0 Rainbow Cover
5.0 Justified (with Keb’ Mo’ & Robert Randolph)
6.0 Breath Of Me (with ZZ Ward)
7.0 High Heels And Throwing Things (with Warren Haynes)
8.0 Cause Of War
9.0 So Long 4 U (with Sonny Landreth)
10.0 Same Train
11.0 Stone Cold Heaven (with Tyler Bryant)
I’ll be completely honest and say off the bat…I’d never heard of Robben Ford before listening to this CD. Some of you will be asking ‘Where exactly have you been?’ I’m asking myself the exact same question. While listening to this, his follow-up to last year’s critically acclaimed A Day In Nashville, I decided to do a bit of digging. What I turned up astounded me. How had I not heard Robben Ford before?
But that’s by the by. The guitar playing on this album is little short of extraordinary. I’m a big fan of Eric Clapton and the guitar-playing here is, to my mind, up there with some of his best work. The sheer amount of emotions that Robben Ford can pull out of his guitar, coupled with some very capable supporting guitarists, is astounding.
The opening track, Rose of Sharon, lulls you into thinking this is going to be a very laid-back album. From the first melancholic chords, the guitar seems to be telling a story of lost love, backed up by the incessant drumbeat that gives the impression of someone trudging slowly away.
Day of the Planets, by contrast, finds Robben in a much more upbeat mood, which carries on through much of the rest of the album. The riff alone wouldn’t feel out of place in an advert for something tropical.
Normally when I listen to an album, I find one or two tracks that catch my ear. Not so with Into the Sun. No filler tracks on this album, no siree! Indeed, if you were to ask me to pick my favourite track, I’d be hard pressed to cut it down to two, never mind one. ZZ Ward’s vocals on Breath of Me are a breath (pun intended) of fresh air, while Justified, with its backing gospel-style singers, is quite simply one of the best songs I’ve heard this year. The wibbly-wobbly, honky-tonk piano, ably provided by Jim Cox, is a real highlight here. High Heels and Throwing Things is the kind of song that you find yourself tapping your foot and nodding your head to. And that’s just the start of it…each song brings something new and fresh to the album, with each one feeling like it’s been lovingly created and nurtured.
I also find that I don’t tend to pay as much attention to the last track on an album. After all, that’s why it’s the last track. Stone Cold Heaven has knocked this out of me, though, with its amazing guitar interplay. The riffs almost feel out of place on the song, but so good is the playing that it doesn’t matter.
This album has some of the best guitar-playing and song-writing that I’ve heard in a very long time. I haven’t listened to much Blues recently…Into the Sun is changing that. Now where’s Robben’s back catalogue gone? Time for some re-education…
Written by: Gareth Franklin
RATINGS: Gareth 9/10