David Ford To Let The Hard Times Roll in April
Let The Hard Times Roll is Ford's third and boldest album, containing some of the most upbeat, rocking songs he's ever written, like the genuinely boisterous "She's Not The One." The album represents the era in which it was created, so there's an underlying tension that runs throughout, as on opener "Panic," all strained nerves in its urgent bass groove, blistering electric guitar, and piano that keeps time like a wound clock; the pensive lament "Waiting For The Storm;" and dissatisfied barroom choral "Nothing At All." Already known for his searing political anthems ("State Of The Union" off 2006's I Sincerely Apologise For Any Trouble I've Caused; "Requiem" off 2008's Songs For The Road), the sultry, swaying backroom stomp "Surfin' Guantanamo Bay" and the solemn accordion and banjo-based elegy "Stephen" are among his most scathing and pointed indictments.
Yet relief and hope also weave through the album - in songs like the melodic, rolling ease of "Making Up For Lost Time" and the stately and inspiriting "Call To Arms" - which underline the fulfillment found in fundamental pursuits like love, friendship, honesty, music, and community. And there are a few love songs, too - the haunting, desolate beauty of fan favorite, piano and strings ballad "To Hell With The World" and the blithe swing of "Sylvia" - with charming, dark edges only Ford could pen.
In keeping with his reputation as a remarkable one-man band, Ford plays nearly every instrument on, produced, and engineered (with the help of James Brown, who's worked with Foo Fighters, Brendan Benson, Placebo) Let The Hard Times Roll, in addition to writing all the string arrangements and designing the artwork. The album was recorded throughout all of 2009 in a variety of settings, although not one of them a studio. All but one track were laid to tape in an industrial estate empty unit in Eastbourne, England; the concise, homesick "Missouri" was recorded in a room at the Rodeway Inn motel in Warrensburg, MO, while on a solo tour in 2008. Bits and pieces of piano parts and chorus vocals were also captured in a former convalescent hospital's family quarters in Southern England.
Track listing for Let The Hard Times Roll:
Making Up For Lost Time
Waiting For The Storm
Surfin' Guantanamo Bay
To Hell With The World
Nothing At All
Meet Me In The Middle
She's Not The One
Call To Arms