Let The Hard Times Roll
By Scott Roberts
David Ford has a lot to say. The British singer/songwriter opens his third CD Let The Hard Times Roll with the emotionally-escalating “Panic,” a song that manages to cram more words into less than four minutes than are found on many entire albums. The lyrics are swiftly sung over a piano-driven Springsteen-like arrangement (which briefly pauses in the middle to feature a bass break that liberally borrows from The Beatles’ “Taxman”) making for an enjoyable opening to a pleasant set of songs, made even more impressive by the fact that Ford produced the CD and played nearly all of the instruments himself.
The radio-friendly “Making Up For Lost Time” follows and Ford shows an effective grittiness to his voice here over a hummable refrain, while also adding a tasty organ break. And again, the instrumental arrangement has bit of a Springsteen feel, yet the songwriting owes more to Billy Joel (with Joel’s influence heard even more on the song “To Hell With The World”) than Bruce. The next song, “Waiting For The Storm,” would fit comfortably on a Bryan Adams CD, but these comparisons to singer/songwriters past is not an attempt to accuse Mr. Ford of being unoriginal — the associations are mentioned simply as a point of reference, and hope to let you, the reader and potential purchaser of this CD, know whose esteemed footsteps Ford aspires to walk in.
In fact, David Ford does have his own voice and vision, and like many other successful musicians, blends the best bits of others into something that becomes fully his own, especially on songs such as sing-along “Nothing At All” and the humorous “She’s Not The One” (opening line: “Holy cow, I need to get my shit together, ‘cause she’s not the one for me”). With Let The Hard Times Roll, David Ford has taken another step toward becoming an artist from whom future artists might borrow.