Robert Jeryl Ward

b. October 15th, 1938 in Luthersville (Georgia)

d. December 25th, 2008 in Dry Branch (Georgia)

HOT STUFF

Relic

1961 - 1967

Né en Géorgie, il s'installe à Dayton (Ohio) en 1960. Robert est le guitariste du groupe The Falcons (dont le chanteur était Wilson Pickett). Puis, il forme le groupe Ohio Untouchables (qui deviendront les Ohio Players) avec lequel il reste jusqu'en 1965 enregistrant quelques morceaux avec eux. A cette période, Robert délivre plusieurs singles entre Blues, Soul et Gospel sur les labels Lu Pine (sous la supervision du producteur Robert West), Thelma, Groove City (pour le producteur Don Davis). On remarque déjà un style bien en place : voix puissante et eraillée, guitare incisive au vibrato marquant (obtenu avec un amplificateur Magnatone). On retient notamment "Something for nothing", "I'm gonna cry a river", "Fear no evil", "Forgive me darling", "Hot stuff", "Your love is real", "Workout". Plus tard, Robert devient sideman chez Motown mais abandonne la musique après le décès de sa femme en 1977 et retourne vivre en Géorgie avec ses six enfants. Cette première oeuvre très consistante est disponible sur le CD "Hot stuff" proposé par Relic.

Born in Georgia, he moved to Dayton (Ohio) in 1960. Robert is the guitarist of the band The Falcons (whose singer was Wilson Pickett). Then, he formed The Ohio Untouchables (who later became the Ohio Players) with which he stayed until 1965 recording some songs with them. At this time, Robert delivers several singles between Blues, Soul and Gospel on labels Lu Pine (under the supervision of producer Robert West), Thelma, Groove City (for producer Don Davis). We already notice a style well in place : powerful and hoarse voice, incisive guitar with striking vibrato (obtained with a Magnatone amplifier). We point out "Something for nothing", "I'm gonna cry a river", "Fear no evil", "Forgive me darling", "Hot stuff", "Your love is real", "Workout". Later, Robert becomes sideman at Motown but abandons music field after the death of his wife in 1977 and returns to live in Georgia with his six children. This first very consistent work is available on the CD "Hot stuff" issued by Relic.

FEAR NO EVIL

Black Top

October 1990

Revient au début des années 90 chez Black Top grâce à Hammond Scott et Dave Hussong pour ce superbe album de retour aux affaires : produit par Hammond Scott, gravé aux Ultrasonic Studios de la Nouvelle Orléans avec d'excellents sidemen comme George Porter Jr, Sammy Berfect, Mark "Kaz" Kazanoff. Robert Ward se montre en pleine forme vocale et est brillant à la guitare (avec son vibrato caractéristique). Un programme intense et juteux dont on peut ressortir les remarquables "Your love is real", "Something for nothing", "Trying my best", "Strictly reserved to you", "Newborn music", "K-po-kee".

Back in the early 90's at Black Top thanks to Hammond Scott and Dave Hussong for this great back to business album : produced by Hammond Scott, recorded at the Ultrasonic Studios in New Orleans with excellent sidemen like George Porter Jr, Sammy Berfect , Mark "Kaz" Kazanoff. Robert Ward is brilliant vocally and on guitar (with his characteristic vibrato). An intense and juicy program from which we can highlight the remarkable "Your love is real", "Something for nothing", "Trying my best", "Strictly reserved to you", "Newborn music", "K-po-kee".

BLUES COCKTAIL PARTY

Black Top

October 1990

BLACK TOP BLUES-A-RAMA vol.7

Black Top

April 1992

Sur la scène du Tipitina's, Robert joue ses superbes classiques "Your love is real", "Forgive me darling", "Something for nothing". Une prestation remarquable.

On the stage of Tipitina's, Robert plays his great classics "Your love is real", "Forgive me darling", "Something for nothing". A remarkable performance.

RHYTHM OF THE PEOPLE

Black Top

November 1992

Ce second album pour Black Top est bâti dans la directe continuation de "Fear no evil" : voix puissante, guitare virtuose au son toujours original, sidemen chevronnés, compositions accrocheuses. Les pépites s'enchainent : "A good man", "The real deal", "White fox", "Children of the world" (en duo avec sa seconde femme Roberta), "What a friend we have in Jesus", "Soap opera blues", "Twiggs county". Le meilleur album d'un bluesman souvent mesestimé.

This second album for Black Top is built in the direct continuation of "Fear no evil" : powerful voice, virtuoso guitar with always original sound, first-rate sidemen, catchy compositions. The gems follow one another : "A good man", "The real deal", "White fox", "Children of the world" (duet with his second wife Roberta), "What a friend we have in Jesus", "Soap opera blues", "Twiggs county". The best album of an often underestimated bluesman.

BLUES COSTUME PARTY

Black Top

November 1992

BLUES MISTLETOE & SANTA'S LITTLE HELPER

Black Top

1992 - 1995

BLACK BOTTOM

Black Top

June - July 1995

Troisième et dernier album pour le label Black Top. Le programme apparait encore ici très dense. Quelques bons moments méritent une écoute attentive : "Soul stroll", "Black bottom", "Meat off the bone", "You ought to stop it", "Two steps from the blues", "Something good drivin' the devil nuts".

Third and last album for the Black Top label. The program is still very dense here. Several titles are worth listening to : "Soul stroll", "Black bottom", "Meat off the bone", "You ought to stop it", "Two steps from the blues", "Something good drivin' the devil nuts".

NEW ROLE SOUL

Delmark

August 1999

A la disparition de Black Top en 1999, Robert obtient un contrat d'enregistrement avec Delmark grâce au D.J. Marty Spaulding. Pour ce label de Chicago, Robert travaille avec les producteurs Steve Wagner et Pete Nathan. Une set-list entre Blues et Soul où brille toujours le son de sa guitare. Plus inégal qu'auparavant, l'album recèle néanmoins quelques morceaux remarquables comme "Never found a girl", "I come to save you", "Ark of safety" (un gospel chanté par sa femme Roberta) et surtout le long slow blues "Whatever I receive". Dans les années 2000, des problèmes de santé l'empêchent d'exercer son métier de musicien et il décède finalement le jour de Noël 2008.

When Black Top closed in 1999, Robert signed a recording contract with Delmark thanks to D.J. Marty Spaulding. For this Chicago-based label, Robert works with producers Steve Wagner and Pete Nathan. A set-list between Blues and Soul where always shines the sound of his guitar. More uneven than before, the album contains some remarkable songs like "Never found a girl", "I come to save you", "Ark of safety" (a gospel sung by his wife Roberta) and especially the long slow blues "Whatever I receive". In the 2000's, health problems prevented him from practicing his music profession and he finally died on Christmas day in 2008.