Incuya Fest Review
Sept 1st 2018
By Chuck Yarborough
“Can’t quit without mentioning the Lake Stage, too, which was home to most of the local acts, or acts with local ties, like Tropidelic, Seafair and the Jack Fords. First, and in a totally parochial sense, it was great to see “our” guys get a shot in a festival setting. Second – and more important – is having the sonic and visual proof that Cleveland’s acts are as good as any on the national stage. Brent Kirby, Bobby Latina, Ed Sotelo and Greg Campolieti – the Jack Fords – in particular performed a set that could be considered one of the best of the entire weekend.
Of course, that makes sense. They are, after all, the “kids” Northeast Ohio has been nurturing longest of all
March 4th 2015
Cleveland Plain Dealer
By; Michael Heaton
The Jack Fords, one of Cleveland's best live roots rock and roll bands, has been together for more than a decade. Their third album "There it Is" was released in March. The band's primary songwriter, vocalist, and guitarist Brent Kirby, who lives in Cleveland Heights, talked about the new release with Plain Dealer reporter Michael Heaton
Q: How long has the band been together?
A: We were formed in 2005, almost 10 years ago.
Q: Who plays what?
A: Brent Kirby - vocals, guitar. Bobby Latina - guitar. Ed Sotelo - bass. Jim Wall - drums.
Q: How many albums have you recorded?
A: "There It Is" is the third album, the second studio album. We released the debut, "Bent Outta Shape" in 2005, a live recording from a show at the Town Fryer, where the band was formed. In 2010, we released "The Way Things Should Be," produced by Eric "Roscoe" Ambel, and was the first studio recording of the band.
Q: Where was this recorded?
A: "There It Is" was recorded at C-Town Sound in Cleveland.
Q: How long did it take?
A: From start to finish, "There It Is" took about three and a half years to complete. Personal and other musical endeavors (work on two records and a tour with Hey Mavis and a shelved solo effort) that had taken priority prevented me from finishing the album out quickly. Normally, I like the immediacy of getting something out, while the tunes feel fresh. These tunes have been out there for a while, and some of the meanings have evolved. They feel different now. It feels good to finally commit them.
Q: What does producer Jon Guggenheim bring to the party?
A: Jon "Guggy" Guggenheim brings a trust and experience to the process. I have worked with him on many different albums and projects, and we have developed a great working relationship, where he can anticipate where I want to go, and that makes it easier to communicate ideas and direction. We have our system down.
Q: Describe your musical chemistry.
A: Bobby and I are best friends and that sets the tone for what we do. We are at the point with this band that we have to have fun with it, and while we are focused, we don't take it too serious. We are very much a live band, and much of what we do when we perform is spontaneous, but in the framework of the tune. I always make sure there is a point in the tunes where we can take it somewhere else if we are feeling it. Ed on bass and Jim on the drums are really great at listening and provide a dynamic, complimentary approach to the tunes. There are times where I can't imagine things getting more explosive and intense, and then it happens.
Q: How'd you come up with the Jack Fords name?
A: Bobby had a dream where he was playing in a band called the Jack Fords.
Q: What distinguishes this album from the others in your mind?
A: The first two records have glimmers of seriousness, but are a bit more adolescent than "There It Is." It's a more mature record, more defined. From a songwriting standpoint, I think it represents a genuine representation and reaction to things that have happened in life. But in many ways, I can see the same roots and foundation as the other records. Completing the mixes boiled it down to the essence of this band, where the final tweaks were the balance between Bobby's guitar and my voice.
Q: Describe your songwriting process.
A: Many times I'll write a complete song and teach it to the band, and other times, Bobby and I will get together and work on riffs and brainstorm ideas, and then I will feel out the tune on my own, adding lyrics and other things. Some of the tunes are ones that I had written well over 10 years ago and have finally come around to be completed. Bobby is such a physical guitar player, and as a writer, I try and use that strength as much as possible. I'm a fan of an efficient pop tune, and Bobby can gravitate towards big, dynamic open jams. Whatever polish I might write into a tune, he gives it a raw, more garage type feel. I've always felt that a guitar player like Bobby needs good songs to play.
Q: Who was your earliest musical influence?
A: My father was my earliest influence. He was a band director and composer, a hard worker who people had huge respect for. I learned to appreciate so many different types of music, saw very disciplined musicians, and witnessed the transformation that music can have on people. That very much set the tone for my approach to music and my career.
Q: What was your last day job?
A: Verizon Wireless selling phones and services. I don't feel my heart was completely in it, and I found myself giving up good musical opportunities. So I quit a perfectly good job and became a musician.
Q: Talk about the Sam Smith/Tom Petty, Robin Thicke/Marvin Gaye musical plagiarism. Do accidents happen?A: I think that accidents can happen. After decades and multiple generations of rock, pop, soul, folk, blues and whatever else has been put out there, many songs are in our subconscious mind, maybe we heard them as a small child on the car radio or something, and they have stuck with us all along. All of us know words and parts to songs that we can't remember why or how. Add in the traditional forms and sounds that define those styles and I have seen many songwriters write something that sounds familiar to something else. I'm sure there is intention to emulate our influences there too, but accidents do happen as well. But I do think it's interesting how someone could steal a Tom Petty tune, call it "Last Chance To Get On Planes," and cut him in for 12 percent once it becomes a hit.
Preview for "There It Is"
March 4th, 2015
By: Jeff Niesel
Band of the Week: Jack FordsBy Jeff Niesel
Meet the Band: Brent Kirby (vocals, guitar), Bobby Latina (guitar, vocals), Ed Sotelo (bass), Jim Wall (drums)
Background: Brent Kirby and Bobby Latina have played together since 2005, when they would jam at the now-defunct Town Fryer. The band formed at about that time too, but it had a different line-up. "We went through a lot of different players," says Latina. Since 2010, however, the group has had the same line-up.
Not Just a Bar Band: At first, Latina says he was annoyed when people would call the roots rock group a "bar band." "It bothered me because it sounds like we're playing 'Mustang Sally,'" he says. "But if you think about it, the Faces were the greatest bar band in the world. We do play bars. That's our element. We have fun doing it at this point. We enjoy playing together and writing songs. I'm not against it now. I embrace it."
Four Years in the Making: Since the guys in the band all have plenty of other obligations, completing the new album There It Is wasn't easy. "I have kids and a full-time job," says Latina. "We're all busy. We play around town as much as we can. We would go in the studio when we could. It was like making [the Guns N' Roses album] Chinese Democracy." The band recorded with engineer Jon Guggenheim at his studio, C-Town Sound. "It was very relaxed," says Latina. "There were two sessions where we did all the basic tracks. That was back in 2012. Brent did vocals and we did guitar tracks. A year went by and we did another five songs. That was it."
Why You Should Hear Them: With its snarling vocals and restrained guitar riff, the title track to There It Is sounds like a cross between vintage Tom Petty and AC/DC, and "Getting Back" is a rowdy garage-rock tune with a good, greasy guitar riff. "'Take Some Time' is the most country song and it started as a soulful song," Latina explains. "For whatever reason, Brent started doing a country thing and it became a rockabilly song. Songs such as 'Getting Back' and 'New Cool' were ones we recorded on the first take. We were really striving to have some diversity on the album.
By Michael Heaton- Minister of Culture
September 16, 2014
So just when I was thinking I'd had the most amazing night ever — three bands in three hours — Captain Fun upped the ante. He insisted we stop on the way home at the Brothers Lounge and catch the last set of Brent Kirby's band, the Jack Fords.
I've known about the Jack Fords for years but had never had the occasion to see them play. I didn't know what I was missing. They play hot, tight, straight-ahead rock and roll. They might just be the best rock band in Cleveland. The crowd at Brothers was way into them. They have an enthusiastic following and on Friday night they gained at least one new fan.
Jack Fords CD Review
September 9, 2010
The Way Things Should Be
Five years after forming, the Jack Fords are already one of Cleveland's stalwart rock outfits. The four-piece crackles with energy across these 12 songs whether they're delivering hook-laden heartbreak ("Covers Blown") or serving up shot-and-a-beer rock 'n' roll ("Done You Right," "Smoke 'n' Spirits").
Jack Fords Show Preview: Erie PA
By Dave Richards
August 12, 2010
Jack Fords hit the Docksider with hot, new CD
When Jack Black taught at the School of Rock, Jack Fords were Grade A students, soaking up prime influences like the Rolling Stones, Faces, Humble Pie, Flying Burrito Brothers, T. Rex, Black Crowes, and Bob Dylan.
You can hear echoes of all the above on "The Way Things Should Be," their blazing new CD. This kind of chunky, piston- pumping rock is known as roots rock or Americana today.
But it's really born out of what Chuck Berry and Little Richard started, and a zillion others put their stamp on ever since in dive bars with bad lighting and sticky, beer-stained floors.
In Jack Fords' hands, it's still exciting stuff, whether they're playing live, like Friday at Docksider or recording with a legendary producer. They cut "The Way Things Should Be" with veteran roots-rocker Eric "Roscoe" Ambel, who played guitar in the Del Lords and later with Steve Earle's band.
"He seemed like the natural choice for us," said Jack Fords guitarist Bobby Latina, who worked with Ambel before, back when Latina was in the Cowslingers. "A lot of the bands he produced, like the Bottle Rockets and Backsliders and Go to Blazes, all these bands, I love all those records.
"He gets the sound that we have. He understands how to make a rock and roll record. So he was the natural choice for us."
Amble didn't just amble in and hit the "record" button. He insisted that principal songwriter and singer Brent Kirby record everything acoustically first.
"He just wanted to hear the songs," Latina said. "So Brent recorded them in his basement by himself on acoustic guitar. Then we scheduled the studio time."
They recorded at Suma in suburban Cleveland, a legendary spot where James Gang and Michael Stanley Band have worked.
"The room itself used to be a summer home for rich guys," Latina said. "It's got real aged wood and high ceilings; it's a great environment to record in. Roscoe walked in and knew immediately it was the right room for us. It was very cool."
Instead of tracking parts, they recorded together, as a band, to get that crackling-live feel.
"Everything was done 100 percent live," Latina said. "Then he mixed the record in New York and added a couple little guitar tracks here and there to fatten things up. But mostly, it was just us, doing everything live. There was very little overdubbing. We did 12 songs in three days."
That sounds fast, but truth is, this CD was like Dylan's slow train coming. They did everything piecemeal, due to budget constraints.
"We financed it all ourselves, so we had to raise the money," Latina said. "What we would do is have little checkpoints. We'd have enough money to record. Then we waited another six months to raise enough to get it mastered and mixed. We had all these steppingstones to get it finished. That's why it took so long.
"But it was worth it," he added. "We wanted to make sure we had the best-sounding record we could have."
They also wanted the best songs, so they rerecorded three gems from "Bent Outta Shape," the debut.
"With the first record being a live record, there was never a proper studio version of some of those songs," Latina said.
They reworked the rollicking, harmonica-driven title cut, the bluesy "Covers Blown," and "Who Do You Trust."
"When we originally recorded 'Who Do You Trust,' it was more revved-up. Roscoe suggested we put that T. Rex or Mott the Hoople vibe on it. He had a lot of suggestions like that; he was very involved," Latina said. "He's all about capturing the best performance of the band and making sure everyone's comfortable."
Latina said Jack Fords are most comfortable as a four-piece. They recorded the CD with keyboard player Chris Hanna, but after he left amicably, they opted not to replace him.
"I felt keyboards tamed us a little bit, sound-wise," Latina said. "With it being just a four-piece, it's very guitar-driven. There's not as many textures; it's more straight-ahead."
They kick into overdrive even harder than before, whether wailing on originals or songs by Dylan, Tom Petty, the Stones, Gram Parsons, and others that take them back to school.
Kirby, the band's dashing lead singer, also plays in a Gram Parsons' tribute band. But that's just an elective. Jack Fords is the main subject for Kirby and Latina. That's what put them on the honor roll, including the Scene's award for best rock band in 2009.
Just thank God they played hooky during disco week at School of Rock.
Album Review - 'The Way Things Should Be' by The Jack Fords
By Jason Sample
June 10, 2010
Whoever said they don't make rock albums like they used to probably never listened to the Jack Fords' new album, "The Way Things Should Be."
From start to finish, the Cleveland five-piece serves up the perfect balance of roots, blues, boogie, and ballad – cultivating a sound and attitude that's been sorely lacking in the music industry for more than a decade.
Featuring 12 original tracks written by front man Brent Kirby, "The Way Things Should Be" tackles a variety of themes – love, heartache, regret, vindication – among others. Through it all, Kirby's songwriting and lyricism is on full display with masterful rhyme structure, and just the right combination of metaphors, word-play and alliteration to make each song a unique and enjoyable listening experience. Kirby's Don Henley-esque voice is also a force to be reckoned with - clear and distinct but not at all over-powering.
Complimenting the lyrical and singing prowess of Kirby is the driving lead guitar of Bobby Latina (formerly with the Cowslingers), who's talent for ear catching riffs and solos goes hand-in-hand with Kirby's delivery and attitude. Keyboardist Chris Hanna also holds his own on the Piano and Hammond B3 on several tracks, including the highly contagious "Bent Outta Shape" and "Last Call Whistle." Rounding out the Jack Fords' lineup is Greg Campolieti on drums and Tom Prebish on bass and backing vocals, who more than hold their own providing the backbeat and bassline.
Recommending or suggesting only two or three tracks doesn't at all do the album justice. If you are any kind of fan roots rock, each and every song is worthy of your MP3 player. But I will say several have achieved 5-Star status on my iPod, including "Who do you Trust?," "The Way Things Should Be," "Bent Outta Shape" and "Done you Right."
And then there's the ballad "Together We Rise" – a song in which Kirby puts his heart on full display – and it pays off. A true love song, this track is an immediate contender for best wedding song no one knows about. Hopefully, that won't be the case forever. The Jack Fords are too good at what they do to have that be their only noteworthy distinction.
NOTE - The Jack Fords are now a 4-piece as keyboardist Chris Hanna moved to Nashville to pursue other opportunities. Greg and Tom are no longer in the band as well. Replacing the departed members are Ed Sotelo (whos been with the group for over a year) on bass and Jim Wall on drums."We are now a lean mean rock machine," says Bobby Latina.
Jack Fords, "The Way Things Should Be" ***
By Dave Richards
Erie Times News
June 7, 2010
"Girl snuck up behind me; she said, 'you're a rock n roll star.' Looked just like Jayne Mansfield," sings Brent Kirby on "Who Do You Trust," one of a dozen cuts on the Jack Fords' first album in four years.
"Jayne who?" says anyone under 40. But if you get the reference, you'll get Jack Fords, if not fall in love with them. They harness the sweaty, blues-infused, bar-band, blazing-guitar sound that defined rock for so long. Today, that style is affectionately called roots rock, which is fine, though it doesn't totally do Jack Fords justice.
They meld definite Bob Dylan/Jack Kerouac, stream-of-conscious songwriting influences with greasy, hard-pumping rock, plus a heartfelt, light-the-Bic ballad or two to break things up. If Black Crowes and Old 97s joined forces, they might sound like Jack Fords, though you'll also hear echoes of vintage Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Stones, and Faces. The Hammond B-3 also adds a slight retro feel.
The Doc likes their motoring stuff: barrelhouse, hard boogie-rock opener "Cutting Blow," which kills, and the studio version of harmonica-fueled "Benta Outta Shape," which was the title track of their live, debut CD. Midtempo rocker "Old Habits Die Hard" rides an infectious groove, not unlike Spin Doctors in their prime, and "Cover's Blown" is exceptionally arranged and well-sung by Brent Kirby. Honky-tonkin' title cut rolls like a tumbleweed.
Jack Fords engaged roots-rock legend Eric "Roscoe" Ambel from the long-ago Del Lords to produce; he's worked with Steve Earle and Ryan Adams, among others. Ambel hones their organic, well-crafted songs without polishing or prettying them up too much. The CD simply sounds fantastic, and Bobby Latina remains a guitar force to be reckoned with.
Jack Fords will play June 11 at Mojo's Bar in Jamestown, N.Y., and make their long-awaited return to Erie on Aug. 14 at Docksider. Don't miss 'em.
-- Dr. Rock,
Bent Into Shape- "The Way Things Should Be"
After four years, the Jack Fords return with their second album..
by Jeff Niesel
May 6, 2010
"I don't think I've ever been here during the daytime," says Jack Fords singer Brent Kirby as he walks into Smedley's with bandmate Bobby Latina for an early-evening cocktail. The group regularly plays the club, and while it might seem odd that an Americana act inspired by alt-country pioneers like Gram Parsons and the Band would play the roughneck Kamm's Corners biker bar known for hosting Lynyrd Skynyrd cover bands, the Fords' music has a mean streak that appeals to both hipsters and bikers.
The Jack Fords came together five years ago when Kirby and guitarist Bobby Latina met at a Sunday-night jam session at the defunct Town Fryer restaurant. Hayshaker Jones' Clint Holley hosted the events that brought together local roots-rock musicians.
"I went up there and played 'Grievous Angel' by Gram Parsons," recalls Kirby. "There was applause afterward, and I was shocked that the people there knew who Gram Parsons was. Bobby and I started talking and became friends."
At that point, Latina, the guitarist with local cowpunk stalwarts the Cowslingers, had started a new band following the 'slingers' breakup. He was looking for a singer.
"I heard him sing and thought he would fit in with what I was trying to do," says Latina. "We connected the dots of our influences and realized we had a lot in common."
They started writing songs immediately, and within months released their 2006 debut, Bent Outta Shape, which they recorded live at the Town Fryer.
"Our idea was to get something out as quick as possible," says Kirby. "We wanted to capture that momentum and figured that was the best way to do it."
"Economically, it made sense too," adds Latina.
The band, which also includes bassist Ed Sotelo and drummer Jim Wall, went through numerous lineup changes that delayed the release of its sophomore album.
"It's like a relationship," says Kirby. "You try to work things out, and maybe it works and maybe it doesn't. Bands are relationships, really. It's like having four or five girlfriends. They all have moods. You want to have it so that there's no maintenance. That's what's nice about this lineup."
Once the group solidified, they recruited producer Eric "Roscoe" Ambel (Del Lords, Steve Earle, Ryan Adams). Latina knew Ambel from his Cowslingers days, so he sent him a 14-song demo he thought Roscoe might like.
"I figured our music, which is roots rock, is very much in the vein of his," says Latina. "Roscoe said he could do something with it, but he wanted to hear all the songs on acoustic guitar. So Brent had to re-record all the songs."
Ambel drove in from New York one weekend, and they cut the new album, The Way Things Should Be, in three days at Painesville's Suma studios. It's a terrific mix of barroom rock that kicks off hard and heavy with the ZZ Top-like "Cutting Blow" and settles into a groove for "Old Habits Die Hard" and "Together We Rise," ballads that recall the poppier side of the Old 97's.
"He really kicked our ass on a lot of stuff," says Kirby. "I think he was once referred to as rock 'n' roll's greatest traffic cop. He keeps you completely focused, and there's no dicking around. It was a great experience."
You can distinctly hear Kirby and Latina's different influences. In "Done You Right" and "Smoke 'n' Spirits," Kirby has to really stretch his vocals to be heard above the din.
"When I write for the Fords, I write in a different vein [from his solo work]," says Kirby. "I try to write songs with great guitar-solo progressions. Bobby will come up with a kick-ass riff, and I'll have my lyrics, and then he'll add a kick-ass guitar solo."
While the band is a terrific live act, embarking on a lengthy tour to support the album isn't in the cards.
"The truth is that we have kids and full-time jobs," says Kirby. "It's too hard to get out for extended periods of time, so our mantra is to work smarter and do some regional touring a couple of weekends a month."
Not that the inability to tour behind the record diminishes it in any way.
"We just wanted to make a great record with a great producer," says Latina. "So it was worth the wait."
Muffin Man Reviews “Jack Fords”
Posted in Muffin Man Reviews "Jack Fords" on June 7, 2010 by rockcapitalreviews
Artist: Jack Fords
Release: The Way Things Should Be
The Jack Fords were formed out of a jam session at the now defunct Town Fryer. Core members Brent Kirby and Bobby Latina anchor the current lineup, which is rounded out by bassist Ed Sotello and drummer Jim Wall. The CD is full of foot stompin, beer drinkin barroom rock that will get you dancing. The CD release party at the Happy Dog earlier this year was packed, and for good reason. Kirby has a strong yet melodic voice, which Latina’s cowpunk style of his former band The Cowslingers shines through. Wall is a solid drummer, while Sotello attacks the bass. Tom Prebish and Greg Campolieti handled bass and drum duties on the recording, while Chris Hannah added piano and organ.
The opening track “Cutting Blow” reminds me of ZZ Top, while “Old Habits Die Hard” has a Tom Petty-ish groove to it. My favorite song on the CD is probably “Who Do You Trust”, with its active bass line and breaks in the chorus. “Brightest Star” shows of the bands softer side. Most of the songs remind me of a heavier, rowdier John Mellencamp mixed with the guitar sound and crunch of AC/DC. Kudos to the band for putting the words “Cleveland, Ohio” firmly on the cover. The CD ends appropriately with my second favorite song ”Last Call Whistle”, which really emphasizes Latina’s punk/rockabilly talents.
All in all, if you like guitar driven heavy rock with a touch of americana and punk, then this is the CD for you.
The Way Things Should Be" Review
52 Weeks of Cleveland Blog-
By Jason Burchaski
With the release of "The Way Things Should Be" some help of a slew of incredibly gifted musicians, Bobby Latina and Eric "Mother Fucking Roscoe" Ambel (ok so embellished his nickname a bit but come on the guy is a legend) it is no holds barred Cleveland rock and roll. If Wilco, The Stones, ZZ Top and The Who fucked this record could have been the outcome. It is a lot of rock and roll mixed with a southern twang roots Americana thing. The cd starts with the track "Cutting Blow" which is just this epic balls out rock song with serious props being paid to southern rockers like ZZ Top. It is bluesy without being too over the top like a bad George Thorogood song. You could put this one on repeat and crank it a few times before heading on to the next track but when you do get there it's a Matthew Sweet infused pop tune called "Old Habits Die Hard". Just enough rock to keep it flowing until the third track "Cover's Blown" that really accents Kirby's vocal chops.
The next cut "Who Do You Trust" takes me into the Stones reference. Subdued in the back is Chris Hanna with some honky tonk key work. It's reminds me of a slowed down Mooney Suzuki cut. There is this polished garage sound to it to make it poppy enough to be radio friendly but dirty enough to keep the White Stripes crowd in check. Next up is the album title track "The Way Things Should Be" which follows in the same vein as the last cut only a little more polish to it. Next up is the balladesque "Brightest Star". Slowing it down a bit not a true "ballad" really but more of a Neil Young kind of slow down. "Bent Out of Shape" we kind of pick up the pace a bit and showcase the rock again only to set it up for the real stripped down "Together We Rise" which could have easily been on a Ryan Adams record. Saying well that's enough of the slow stuff we get back into full tilt boogie with "Done You Right" leading into Who-esque rock and roll guitar in "Smoke 'N' Spirits". It has this Cheap Trick meets The Who thing going on to it with guitar solos and everything. Just when you think it is over it almost is. They throw in a nice slow one called "All Over Now" and end it rocking out the way it started with "Last Call Whistle".
To say it is a great record is an understatement. You can tell just how much effort went into this thing. It's great to see someone like Roscoe producing the record too. They guy just knows exactly how to mix in the right elements to showcase all the talent that is contained in the disc. There are standout tracks, yet there are no throw away cuts or easily skipped tracks. It all flows together into an incredible body of work. It amazes me this is self published. You have incredible talent in Kirby, Latina and the backing band, an amazing producer yet no label backing. Sure it is not easy to get a record deal these days, but fucking-a man it is a excellent record! All I have to say has been said before on the Jack Fords if you have yet to see them stop waiting get out there and check them out. As far as just straight forward rock and roll goes between them and like the Whiskey Daredevils and Hot Rails Cleveland actually does have more than a handful of rock and roll saviors and they are one of the best ones around.
Pick of the Day. "Way Things Should Be" Review
Hannibal Radio Blog
By John Hannibal
May 4, 2010
Music Pick Of The Day: The Jack Fords - The Way Things Should Be
Brent Kirby kicks into rock mode with his band The Jack Fords as they release their new album The Way Things Should Be. It should be noted this is only their second release and first studio album.
Making the bold move to record a live album to serve as their debut in 2006 it's down right exciting to hear what they sound like in a studio setting. Granted, their live shows have been the buzz of Cleveland since they formed in 2005.
I'm happy to report that they've captured the energy of those live performances in the studio as well. The album is a stellar achievement ranking with the best rock releases of any band this year. I'm not confining that to local music either. The Jack Fords deserve to be a national act.
In the meantime, we Clevelanders are lucky to have chances to catch them live. The CD release party is this Saturday night at The Happy Dog. Get there early as this promises to be a rollicking night and hopefully the kick off to a run at some well deserved national attention.
The Cleveland Free Times Review
"Bent Outta Shape" Review
By Anastasia Pantsios
May 10, 2006
The Jack Fords, another entry in Cleveland's strong roots-rock scene, make their recording debut with a live disc recorded in February at the Town Fryer, the scene's hub. It was a good choice, as the confident, well-honed chops of the seasoned quartet allow it to execute its strong tunes in a live setting with ease. Heavily influenced by bluesy rock groups such as the Stones, the Faces and the Yardbirds, the disc's a must-have for Black Crowes fans, since echoes of that band are all over the title track and the mid-tempo, Southern-rock influenced "New Orleans." "Who Do You Trust" is an irresistible roadhouse roof-raiser, while "Such a Crime" is a classic howl of a rock ballad, laced with twangy guitar. The sprawling "Hotel Suicide" is a showcase for Kirby's and Latina's slashing guitar work, while the epic "Covers Blown" showcases Kirby's rangy, momentous vocals. A cover of Gram Parsons' "Hot Burrito #2" closes out the disc nicely. — Anastasia Pantsios
The Plain Dealer
"Bent Outta Shape" Review
By John Benson
May 26, 2006
Inherently, live albums are a risky move. If the intended magic-in-the-moment experience isn't captured, the result could be disastrous. For Cleveland-based The Jack Fords, a newcomer on the rock scene, the decision to skip the formalities of releasing a studio project in lieu of a rocking live album filled with original material proved to be genius. Its debut release "Bent Outta Shape" is a powder keg of blues-based tunes delivered with a roots-rock vibe. The eruption of the title track starts the album out on a high note. Other standouts include the Skynyrd-esque "Last Song I'll Ever Sing" and Black Crowes-inspired "New Orleans." It's the latter track where the true appeal of The Jack Fords is evident, with guitarist Bobby Latina's funky solo taking the listener to unbelievable heights. If you want to hear Cleveland rock again, "Bent Outta Shape" won't disappoint. Grade: A