Robben Ford (born December 16, 1951) is an American blues, jazz and rock guitarist. He was a member of the L.A. Express and has collaborated with Miles Davis, Joni Mitchell, George Harrison and KISS. He was named one of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of the 20th Century" by Musician magazine.
Robben Ford was born in Woodlake, California and raised in Ukiah, California. He began playing the saxophone at age 10 and the guitar at age 14. Robben and his brothers created the Charles Ford Blues Band in honor of their father.
At age 18, Ford's band was hired to play with Charlie Musselwhite. and recorded two albums The Charles Ford Band and Discovering the Blues. He recorded two albums with Jimmy Witherspoon called Live and Spoonful. In the 1970s, Ford joined the jazz fusion band, L.A. Express, led by saxophonist Tom Scott. In 1974 the band supported George Harrison on his American tour and played on the Joni Mitchell albums Court and Spark, The Hissing of Summer Lawns and Miles of Aisles.
After leaving the L.A. Express in 1976, Robben Ford recorded his solo album, The Inside Story with a band that later became the Yellowjackets. In 1982, Ford was one of several guitarists who appeared on the KISS album Creatures of the Night, playing lead guitar on the songs "Rock And Roll Hell" and "I Still Love You".
Ford worked briefly with Miles Davis in 1986; and can be heard on Davis' Montreux box set. Ford released his album, Talk to Your Daughter in 1988. He joined Philippe Saisse, Marcus Miller and J.T. Lewis in the cast of The Sunday Night Band for the second and final season of the late-night NBC television program, Sunday Night in 1989. In the 1990s he released the albums, Robben Ford and the Blue Line, and Tiger Walk.
Robben Ford has received five Grammy Award nominations and was named one of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of the 20th Century" by Musician magazine. He credits pianist and arranger Roger Kellaway and saxophonist and arranger Tom Scott, whom he met while playing for Joni Mitchell, as a major influence on his musical development.
Robben Ford uses Dumble Amplifiers and Celestion G12-65 speakers. When traveling abroad he uses Fender Super Reverb amplifiers along with a Zendrive overdrive pedal by Hermida Audio. Sometimes he plays a vintage 1960 Fender Telecaster, Gibson Les Pauls or a guitar custom-made by Taku Sakashta. Currently, Ford travels with just two vintage guitars: a 1966 Epiphone Riviera (with the original Bigsby trem removed and replaced with a stop tailpiece) and the 1960 Fender Telecaster.