|Ford & friends deliver vintage modern mix|
|Written by COLE CHRISTENSEN Festival Program Writer|
|Thursday, 23 August 2012 08:09|
Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside pull no punches when it comes to expressing their feelings about the modern music industry. The first lyrics on the first track of their debut album, “Dirty Radio” pretty much sum up the band’s stance on commercial popular music.
“When I turn on the radio, it all sounds the same. What have these people done to music, they just don’t care anymore...”
Realizing that music is the ultimate creative medium to speak out against the establishment, and also live along side it, Sallie Ford and her band members hone a sound that demands attention, both for her distinctive vocal approach and their unique instrumental appeal.
That sound will be on display during the Black Swamp Arts Festival’s Friday Main Stage show Sept. 7 at 8 p.m. as well as the next day at 4 p.m. on the Acoustic Stage.
There is something strangely familiar about the music created by the band. A first listen to “Dirty Radio” evokes images of early rock and rockabilly bands, classic surf music and 1950s and 1960s rhythm and blues.
At the same time tough vocals, driving instrumentation and edgy lyrics align more with current indie rock trends. Vintage and modern ... a phrase referenced on the band’s website, and certainly an applicable description to their sound that is at once old and new.
“I do listen to older music, but I don’t feel like I am an expert in older music,” Ford said in a recent telephone interview. “I think a lot of the ways we record and the instruments we play, old instruments and old amps, definitely help it have that sound. We are influenced by so many things and at the same time I just don’t have a specific direction about what it is going to be.”
Regardless of fruitless attempts to classify Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside, it is clear that this is a band on the verge of breaking out, as evidenced by their recent appearance in early August on the David Letterman show.
The band was founded just four years ago in Portland, OR by accident.
Ford, whose parents were both well known performing artists, grew up in Asheville, NC and did not have a desire to be a performer until she moved to Portland. Since then she found three band mates that shared her interests in diverse music across multiple decades.
Buoyed by a devoted and expanding following across the U.S., the band has also found success on the international scene. They just returned from a full-scale European tour, the third in the last year, and will return overseas again this fall in preparation for their sophomore album release.
“We have been mostly touring in France, but we have gotten to go to Belgium and Germany and Switzerland and we had our first London show,” Ford said. “We are making progress over there and playing a lot of festivals.”
Balancing all of this recent success with creative control and independence is a critical part of the band’s goals, especially given their relatively short time together.
Their next album, due out this winter, will certainly be at the top of music critics and fans “must listen” lists, and the ability to avoid becoming homogenized in the industry will ensure their longevity and unique appeal.
“We have been very careful with every business decision we have made,” she said. “We like to stay humble if we can. I think we are really good at not getting swallowed by all of that and realizing there is still way more work to do.”
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