About Frazey Ford
As one-third of the Vancouver alt-folk trio the Be Good Tanyas, dulcet-voiced singer/songwriter Frazey Ford enjoyed widespread critical acclaim and cult band status during the 2000s, later launching a solo career with 2010's Obadiah. On her own, Ford's music stretched into soul and R&B territories on 2014's horn-laden Indian Ocean, a vibe that continued in subtler measures on 2020's U Kin B the Sun.
A native of the Kootenays region of southeastern British Columbia, Ford found her footing as a musician in Vancouver where in 1999 she teamed up with Samantha Parton and Trish Klein to form the Be Good Tanyas. A winsome blend of old-timey folk, country, blues, and pop influences, the group established themselves on the Americana and folk circuits, releasing their debut album, Blue Horse, in 2001, followed two years later by Chinatown. All three members sang and contributed songs with Ford playing guitar and occasionally mandolin. The Be Good Tanyas gained more widespread recognition, especially in the U.S., when one of Ford's songs, "In Spite of All the Damage," was included on the soundtrack to the Showtime series, The L Word. Additional placements in television and films followed, as did a third album, 2005's Hello Love.
By the decade's end, the band had largely run its course and Ford set about recording her first solo album. Co-produced with multi-instrumentalist John Raham at his Vancouver recording studio, 2010's Obadiah still lived somewhat in the folk-inspired vein of her work with the Be Good Tanyas, but introduced a more soulful sound. Ford and Raham took this approach to the next level on Indian Ocean, her sophomore outing. Recorded between Memphis, Tennessee and Vancouver, the 2014 album relied heavily on Ford's R&B, soul, and Motown influences and featured Al Green's legendary Hi Rhythm Section as her backing band. This lush style was an apt vehicle for her smooth and mesmerizing voice, which by this point had earned comparisons to '70s crooners like Ann Peebles and Roberta Flack. Working with her own band, Ford trimmed things down to a more minimalist funk-inflected style with light psychedelic touches on her third album, U Kin B the Sun, which appeared in 2020 on Canada's Arts + Crafts label. ~ Timothy Monger & Steve Leggett