Saturday, December 27, 2008

Robert Ward RIP

Thanks to Dave to alerting me to yet another death on Christmas Day - Robert Ward. It was Robert who was responsible for the haunting guitar behind the Falcons' I Found a Love in 1962. And it was Robert, 30 years later, who stole the show at the Black Top Blues-a-rama show in New Orleans where I first saw him perform. Indeed he was THE musical find of that particular trip to Jazzfest and I saw him a number of times after that before he faded from the scene - again. I say again, because after backing up The Falcons and founding the Ohio Untouchables (later the Ohio Players) he retired home to Dry Branch, Georgia, to be rediscovered by Hammond Scott of Black Top. Ward created his unique guitar sound using an old Magnatone amp, but his voice was equally effective on tracks like Your Love is Amazing on his 1991 album Fear No Evil, and on the follow up album Rhythm of the People.

Here's a photograph (actually a photograph of a photograph) that I took of Ward in New Orleans in the early 90s.


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