Rick’s tradition is that of the singer/songwriter and storyteller; as well as being a musician he is a writer and is the author of three internationally best-selling fantasy novels entitled ‘The Faradawn Trilogy’. His musical influences in blues, folk and country can be detected in his songs and his playing and they mesh together with a timelessness that reaches beyond fashion into the hard gut-bucket reality that forms the currency of our lives. Maverick Magazine calls him ‘…an authentic outlaw spirit.’
Rick’s songs are steeped in the wild beauty of the hills, valleys and moorlands around his remote home in the Peak District countryside where he lives with his partner Claire and his dog Barney.
Rick plays and sings in the pubs and clubs around North Staffordshire in the U.K., either on his own or with various other musicians. He also plays in ‘Rick Ford and the Careless Lovers’ with JohnPaul Hill on accordion and guitars and Steve Giddings on slide and other guitars.
Rick’s novels are available from www.rickfordsongwriter.com
REVIEWS FOR SMOKE AND MIRRORS…
ROCK ‘N’ REEL MAGAZINE
‘… an album of self-compositions, in his own words, ‘distilled from a lifetime of listening to country, folk and blues. The irresistible melody-rich immediacy of Whispers and Screams’ and country tones of ‘You’ll Never Leave Me’ contrast with the compelling acoustic pop-rock of ‘A Red Rose’ and the reflective acoustics of the harrowing ‘A Song for Muktar’ on an album brimming with unpolished gems.’
‘Storytelling is at the heart of his country-rock songs, interwoven with blues and folk influences… ‘A Song For Muktar’ tells the desolate tale of a child warrior, while ‘Beyond The Clouds’ is an equally tragic love story, but Ford delivers both of them with dignity and even a little of Richard Thompson’s vocal gravitas. The bar has already been set high by opener ‘A Red Rose’, a measured and grittily poetic roots-rocker, and this standard is matched again by the rolling folk lilt of ‘Whispers and Screams’. … balances a robust roots framework with delicacy and wistfulness where it really counts.’
‘The unhurried melodies, rooted in folk story-telling tradition, suit Ford’s simple and honest vocal style. Almost entirely acoustic, and sparsely yet carefully arranged throughout, with the addition of some welcome female backing vocals and instrumentation in the mix. Ford conjures up familiar earthy sounds to suit the observations of his keen lyrical eyeTitle-track ‘Smoke & Mirrors’ is an early highlight, with dobro and mandolin adding haunting layers to Ford’s simple melody and enthralling tale of disjointed moments in life not always being as they first appear.
It’s enticingly dark stuff…’
‘The album opens with ‘A Red Rose’, written after an inspiring trip through Eastern Europe and Russia. The sound Rick has on this song is as big as the Steppes itself. You can taste the open spaces and the hardship of lives spent either in these landscapes or on the fringes of poverty.
As a writer Rick has the ability to conjure up visual images… The painting with words is particularly strong on three key moments of excellence with the songs ‘Reflections of Madonna’, ‘A Song for Muktar’ and ‘Beyond the Clouds’. The first looks at those folks dispossessed and broken through either collateral damage or driven out by war. The second tells the tragic story of a young boy, maybe 14 years old, who is a boy soldier in the mire that is war-torn Africa. The last of the trio relates the tale of two lovers driven apart by un-supportive parents. It is a story common to many and very sad. This is a good record.’