Photos by @scott.fitzgerald_
Marc Ford has, for as long as I can recall, been one of my favorite musicians. The first time I heard his talent, he was adding his melodic playing on The Black Crowes’ second, and best album — 1992’s Southern Harmony and Musical Companion — through a tape deck in my blue Ford Festiva. For me, he seemed to appear out of nowhere and completely change everything I thought I knew about how guitar players contribute to the music they create
He’s been applying that gift to every project, album, or live show that he’s been a part of for the past 30 years and I wanted to know what was on deck for Marc Ford in 2020, and beyond. Marc recently signed on with True Grit talent agency with his manager, Owen Canavan, and has a publishing deal with Peer Music. He seems to have more gigs lined up than days in the week, and enough projects in the works to keep him producing music in one way or another, for quite some time.
Americana Highways: Thank you for taking the time to talk with me today, Marc. Let’s start with your Peer Music publishing deal and what that means for your catalog.
MF: Hopefully it’s a chance to get my songs out to more places. TV, film etc. it’s also given me an opportunity to write with some other people.
AH: It’s always good for you to have more avenues to distribute your music. Can you tell us a little about the myriad of projects you’re working on. Specifically the West Coast Reunion and the Allman Betts Band gigs, and how you’re approaching them?
MF: Allman Betts that’s me with a 3 piece. Eric (Lindell) and I, (West Coast Reunion), well, he had a couple dates booked and so that was what I did. It was kind of a ‘fall in the water’ kind of thing, just playing together again, there’s gigs coming up that were going to do together and we just you know we don’t know what this things going to look like. we just decided we wanted to play together and so yeah those are coming up and I’ll start working on that in April.
AH: Will you be mainly hitting West Coast states or eventually reaching the Midwest and East coast?
MF: I definitely want to get everywhere that I can. As of now we only have the plans for the west coast. I’m sure that we’ll get over there, I’d love to. The good thing about having both the West Coast Reunion and the solo thing going is that I can cover more area. If i don’t make it around your neighborhood in one form hopefully I can make it on another.
strong>AH: What about new albums and the buzz I’m hearing about a new/old album called Fuzz Machine?
MF: In April, Eric and I are going to get together and see what we can come up with for this West Coast Reunion thing.
Fuzz Machine is a record I made back in ’08 and never really released it, officially. We put it out on Bandcamp and it sort of leaked out but I’m actually making vinyl and its going out on the streaming thing on official release. And that’s kind of coinciding with the West coast tour thing and then, I’m sort of in the middle of the record with Red (Shahan). It’s coming along good but there’s no definite release date.
AH: You mentioned Red Shahan. How did you end up in the producer chair for his album?
MF: Just from friends, the Ryan Bingham days. My son played with Ryan and he became good friends with guys from down there so now, a lot of those guys are involved with Red. It’s fun working with these guys again that I haven’t worked with in a bit.
AH: Anything in the works with you and Elijah [Ford]?
MF: He’s super busy working with all kinds of folks. He’s working with the bass player with the Killers, and doing his own record that’s coming out, and doing a lot of side man gigs. I was hoping he’d be able to come out and play with me on the West coast thing but hes go too much of his own stuff going, which is a great reason.
AH: Is there anyone you’re listening to a lot right now or that you’re really into at the moment?
MF: I’m still turned on by guys like Richard Thompson. I haven’t really been keeping myself current with what’s going on, so it’s a bonus when I get out touring around and playing with people; I do get turned on to new stuff.
AH: How do you see the state of the music industry right now?
MF: We have all the information available to us about everything all the time. It used to be more regional and you were playing to your neighborhood, and then that neighborhood got another neighborhood to catch on. Now the second you’re out your door it’s world wide, and nothing gets a chance to sort of grow and become something because people are judging it the second it comes out of the gate. It makes things a lot different, people don’t have the attention span to let things develop, or it doesn’t seem that way to me.
The thing I love about Marc’s approach to his projects is that he has the ability to let the music develop and become something that, as he says, is really missing in today’s musical landscape. You feel it in his songs as he allows the music build, and you see it in the caliber of musicians that he chooses to make music with. I’m grateful for the time Marc shared on the phone with me and for every moment of music that he’s been a part of since that tape deck back in 92.
Follow along with Marc’s various projects through his website here and via his various social media pages.