Life is sweetest for those that continue to savor its flavors. Rightfully indulging, Sallie Ford is gobbling it up right now.
After a mutual disbanding of the Sound Outside last year, Ford put the wheels in motion to make her dream of an all-female rock band come true. Assembling an outstanding cast of talented musicians with extensive resumes, the creative juices began to flow. And less than a year later, Sallie Ford’s new band is ready to release their new album, Slap Back, due out October 14 on Vanguard Records.
It all started with a suggestion from a friend. After a couple of texts and a few jam sessions, she found her keyboardist. Cristina Cano (who also fronts Siren and the Sea and shares vocals in Albatross) is an accomplished multi-instrumentalist and actress whose nimble fingers have helped bring Ford’s formerly swingy rockabilly sound into a deeper realm of psych rock with a bouyant twist.
Then came Anita Lee Elliott. Ford met her through a mutual friend a few years prior, and the two reconnected at a gig in NYC when Ford shared the stage with Elliott’s supergroup Blue Giant. The only hang-up: Elliott was the guitarist for them and Viva Voce. "No problem," she informed Ford, because she also plays a mean bass—thus providing the band with an element of surfy, garage rock.
Then after a little mingling and networking at 2013’s Pickathon, she found her drummer. Point Juncture, WA’s own proficient and skilled (and apparently an astounding cook) Amanda Spring.
She had two questions for the trio: “Are you comfortable taking on more?" and "Are you willing to tour?”
Thumbs up and just like that, she had her band. Fronted by Ford’s raw, emotive vocals and fuzzed-out guitar, they’ve achieved a powerhouse sound that spans rock genres—one that's ready to hook every eardrum within reach.
With some finely tuned production work and a few fantastic suggestions from The Decemberists' Chris Funk, the band’s new album Slap Back is poised to give Sallie Ford fans an all new reason to love her. Though the sound has evolved—most notably Ford's vocals—her hope is that fans new and old will celebrate the rocking prowess of the new band instead of focusing on what the band was in the past. She’s ready to embrace the new and so should you.
Slap Back offers listeners a variety of sounds, from the surfy psych rock of “Give Me Your Lovin'" to the electro intro of “Let Go” to a love letter to our lovely, lush "Oregon." And don’t worry, there are plenty of tracks—like “Never Be Lame” and “Workin’ The Job”—that still showcase Ford's exquisitely raspy croon.
So, make sure you're at the Doug Fir this Friday to celebrate the return of Sallie Ford and her new sound. And while the set list will be Slap Back heavy, there'll still be enough dancing and singing along to go around. You'll likely hear a few of her older songs as well, but remember, if Ford doesn’t ending up playing your favorite Sound Outside song, it’s because she has a mouthful of new material she's savoring.
To add to the excitement of the night, Summer Cannibals will kick things off bringing their snarled garage rock to the forefront of the evening. With ferocious vocals and stomping drums, they'll seize your attention with the ways their guitars misbehave, and you'll quickly understand how the S'Cannibals have amassed a solid following after releasing their most recent EP Make You Better this past January. A night of gorgeously distorted rock is what everybody needs now and again, and this Friday, October 10 will be the best place to find it.
As for Ford and Co., the record release party in Portland neither starts nor stops with Friday night. You can also catch the ladies in action on Friday afternoon at The Bing Lounge or on release day, Tuesday, October 14, at Music Millennium for an in-store performance and record signing sesh—then the girls go on a national tour in November and December.