This month Frazey Ford is touring UK with band the Quiet Revolution, including players: Trish Klein – banjo, electric guitar, vocals; John Raham – drums; Darren Parris – electric bass.
Frazey Ford, lead singer with acclaimed Canadian trio The Be Good Tanyas, released her debut solo album Obadiah in July on Nettwerk records. Obadiah combines Frazey’s gorgeous sultry vocals, which helped define the Tanyas’ sound, with her ever growing love for soul music, adding a rich fullness to the 13 tracks on her debut.

“There was so much change in the air—all the things that people get really excited about in the ’60s. My parents were on the run from the Vietnam War and had escaped into communes in Canada where my sister and I were born. It was a crazy, adventurous time for everybody.”
“I began to write just for the joy of it,” says Ford, reflecting on the past few years. “I realized that I was just me, and for the first time I understood that was enough. A lot of this album is coming out of healing that I’ve done. The knowledge that in all grief there is joy, and in all joy there is grief.”

“Not being in a band allowed me to feel less worried about things working out in a certain way,” she admits. “I felt a lot of trust with the direction people were going in, and they added a lot of their own feel.”

In that way, Obadiah plays out like a fireside conversation with an old friend; rich with stories about love, loss and life that unravel at their own colorful pace.

Frazey Ford – Firecracker (Live at Lilith Fair 2010)

Frazey Ford | MySpace Video

A true storyteller with a voice that defies comparison, Ford’s greatest talent is her ability to inhabit completely the mind of her song’s protagonists. On “Firecracker,” she’s a hard-drinking, deal making son-of-a-gun that talks to angels with a wry smile. On “Gospel Song,” she looks back on her family life through the eyes of country preacher. It’s a gift she attributes to her journey through motherhood.

“As soon as you’re caring for another human being, you’re outside of yourself,” says Ford. “You think about things in the long term. You perceive yourself as a foundation for someone else’s existence. That experience affected my songwriting to the point where it just felt like I had removed myself from being myself. I suddenly felt this ability to zoom out and feel people’s lives and then sing that story. I hadn’t done that before.”

Though in many ways Ford’s journey is just beginning, Obadiah is a lasting testament to a life fully lived, whether it be her own or that of a character from her songbook.

“What are the words I want to give people?” asks Ford. “What are the messages I want to leave about the story of my life? About recovery and healing?”

She pauses for a moment, as if to reflect on each of the 13 songs, then continues with a smile “I feel good about the messages that came through.”