Written by Chad Taylor
There's no questioning Chris Ford's passion for music.
As one of the founders of Maximum Ames Records, Ford has made it his enduring passion to help Iowa musicians be heard around the world. It's a passion that he's carried with him into his role as Administrator for the Greater Des Moines Music Coalition (DMMC), where he's had an important guiding hand in changing the face of the DMMC's signature local events, Little BIG Fest and Gross Domestic Product.
When he's not doing any of that, he's performing in one of this musical projects, most notably Christopher the Conquered, and his collaboration with Poison Control Center guitarist Patrick Tape Fleming, Gloom Balloon.
But for now, he's taking us on a tour of the music that gets him going.
"Pata Pata" // Miriam Makeba
"The perfect dance song. Mama Africa unites us through her voice."
"I Don't Worry About A Thing" // Mose Allison
"Brilliant blues from the jazz prophet. Can't beat lyrics like these. Also sums up my outlook on life."
"Queen of Denmark" // John Grant
"I can't believe how good this song is. Check out Sinead O'Connor's cover for a different type of moving experience. One of the greatest songs I've heard in years."
"Where Can I Go? // Laura Marling
"I feel like discovering John Grant has reopened me to taking chances with contemporary artists, so I've been finding more amazing music lately...what blows my mind is how young Laura Marling is. Seriously amazing. This entire album is packed is lyrics coupled with sounds that make me cry, a lot. A great example of arrangement and production elevating a song."
"You Are Not Alone" // Mavis Staples
"I love Mavis, but probably not as much as Bob Dylan did. Anyway, this song was written by Jeff Tweedy, who apparently writes some quite good songs! This is one of his best, and Mavis' delivery is stunning."
"Falling Slowly" // The Frames
"Pulled this album out recently...made famous by the movie "Once", this version is maybe even better than the version from the film? It's just pretty slamming with really great violin work and all the rest. There isn't much to say except that this is a just a pretty amazing love song. I've heard great things about the musical, but its version of this song, which I just listened to, is pretty underwhelming compared to both The Frames' original and the version Glen and Marketa do in the film. Oh well!"
"Crazy Horse" // John Trudell
"Gregg McVicar has been using this track for a while as bumper music on his ridiculously great radio program Undercurrents, which airs on Iowa Public Radio late at night, which is the perfect time to fall in love with this song. This jam bleeds passion, which sells me hard. If you think this track is cheesy, you're probably lactose intolerant."
"Tamiditan Tan Ufrawan" // Tinariwen
"Again, I can thank Gregg McVicar for this. Mesmerizing. I have no idea what it's about, but thankfully music transcends. Ride the wave & slide easy."