On a personal note, I miss Josh, man. Members of the hometown blues community know without question that Motor City Josh Ford was one of the brightest lights on the local blues scene before he moved down south to Atlanta. The boy can stroke the guitar like nobody’s business, but more importantly he’s got a blues voice to match. As I’ve said in other reviews, there are quite a few impressive guitar slingers around town, but finding one with an equally impressive set of lungs narrows the field quite a bit. Throw in the showmanship angle, which Josh has always had in spades, and you’ve got a dangerous young cat.
Those “in the know” know that Josh stumbled through a rough patch for a while and some of us were starting to get a bit worried, but Live in Atlanta proves that it takes a deep valley to swallow a good blues man. Recorded at a club called the Blue Pig just outside Atlanta, this CD amply displays why Josh deserves all the accolades that his friends and fans are so quick to give. The slide guitar work is particularly outstanding; it’s not just notes that he finds but words, phrases and feelings. Backed by the solid rhythm section of Andrew “Mac” McDowell on drums, Keith Otterbeck on bass, and Jeff Holsomback on piano, Motor City Josh has assembled a crew and a sound that will definitely make his hometown fans proud.
Keith A. Owens is a Detroit-based freelance writer and musician. E-mail him at [email protected].