ON THE OTHER SIDE
Hmmm! Can you have country/jazz?
OK I suppose not.
Yet after listening to the first two songs on Dwayne Ford's recent CD release, I am not sure he isn't flirting with it.
Lyrically at least, both Please Don't Say You Care and Any Fool With A Gun could be construed as country songs, as could Who Did You Do To Us.
Musically though, the instrumentation is more jazz/pop.
As the CD progresses we find that the jazz/pop world is where Ford, who hails from Edmonton, is at home.
East Side Girls has a sort of R&B feel, and the instrumental Rio Stat is pretty much a straight jazz effort, with just a hit of pop at times.
If this sounds a bit mish-mashed, it surprisingly isn't. There are tangents and corners here, but somehow Ford keeps all the different influences in check enough to offer up a pretty cohesive CD.
Interestingly, the more risks Ford takes, the bigger the leap if you wish, the better he gets. There is a sort of Middle Eastern intro to On The Other Side, and it takes Ford into a song where he lets go more vocally, and in so doing, he reaches higher with the song than all the others.
Somebody Ought To is also a great song, with the most powerful lyrics here. They have greater heart as they delve into the dark side of life.
This becomes an interesting disk for some of the risks Ford takes in his approach, even though he ends up with a CD which is kind of middle of the road poppish in the end. It's the subtle influences of jazz, country and R&B that you can hear here which is most interesting. Hopefully he will explore those influences more on subsequent CDs.
Check them out at www.dwaynefordmusic.ca
-- CALVIN DANIELS
-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper Sept. 2, 2009 - Yorkton, SK. Canada