Blues guitar legend Robben Ford released footage from his set on August 3 at Koko Jazz Club in Helsinki, Finland, and it’s notable for a number of reasons.
First of all, it’s awesome. Seeing Ford in a laid-back club environment, with no elevated stage, playing in front of a sea of tables, gives an unusually intimate look at the virtuoso in action, and the ease with which he and his all-Finnish backing band work on set is inspiring. , the Californian shouting the tunes as they go – literally when they play “Go”, from his latest album, Pure.
Second, he finds Ford debuting his long-awaited signature PRS electric guitar, which was first introduced on his Instagram account about a year ago.
Finished all black, with what looks like natural maple or cream binding, the double cutaway model sounds amazing through what looks like a black panel Fender Deluxe – definitely not the Dumble Overdrive Special (serial number :002) that he has been associated with since he got the amp in 1983.
“How’s the guitar? Ford asked the crowd. “Too loud? Not loud enough!? This is a brand new guitar for me. It’s my first time playing it live, so I’m having a little fun with it.
Ford was joined on the night by Timo Hirvanen on bass, Jussi Lehtonen on drums and Holgar Marjamaa on organ, as the band warmed up with Marjamaa’s organ-led progressive jazz exercise, “Bouncing with Holger”.
Ford takes the stage after seven and a half minutes, opens with Big Joe Williams’ 2013 track “Bird’s Nest Bound” bring it home, and ushers in a casual genius ensemble. Ford follows this with a cover of Allen Toussaint’s “Everything I Do Gonna Be Funky”, again from bring it home.
“Truly a pleasure to be here and especially to play with these great musicians here,” said Ford, introducing the band. “I know them by first name but not so much by last name.”
Other highlights of the night include 2018 standout “What I Didn’t Do.” purple house, written by Kyle Swan. The only disappointment is that there is no server service on YouTube, so you’ll have to fix your own Martini and dim the lights for that jazz club vibe.
Ford returns to the United States to perform at the Palace of Fine Arts Theater in San Francisco on September 16, before heading to the Music Box in San Diego on September 18. See Robert Ford (opens in a new tab) for more tour dates.
There has been no confirmation from PRS that there is an incoming Robben Ford model. Other features include a wraparound bridge, two Ford-branded humbuckers, mini pickup splitter toggle, three-way volume, tone and pickup selector, and oversized headstock.