Every Monday through Friday, we deliver a different song as part of our Song of the Day podcast subscription. This podcast features exclusive KEXP in-studio performances, unreleased songs, and recordings from independent artists that our DJs think you should hear. Each and every Friday we offer songs by local artists. Today’s selection, featured on the Midday Show with Cheryl Waters is “Firecracker” by Frazey Ford.
Frazey Ford, a founding member of Canadian group The Be Good Tanyas, has broken off and released her solo debut, Obadiah, on Nettwerk records. The daughter of former U.S. draft dodgers, she takes her album title from the middle name her hippie parents bestowed upon her after their pet cat that had recently run away. She gets some of her sound from her mother’s side of the family, French Canadians who frequently threw parties with lots of fiddle and accordion, but the soulfulness she brings is entirely her own, rooted in traditions of gospel and R&B. While the songs of Obadiah are more specifically personal to her own experiences, Ford doesn’t leave her old group behind and even pulls in former bandmate Trish Klein for guitar support.
“Firecracker,” the album opener, exhibits a warm groove amidst the banjo picking and her wavering vocals. With hints of gospel peaking in the tune when the backup singers kick off behind her hallelujahs, the song couldn’t get more soothing and more haunting. An expert storyteller, Ford is direct and confessional. “I made it happen, down by the schoolyard,” she begins a tale of hard drinking juxtaposed with the counsel of angels.
Obadiah was released July of last year, so her touring is finished for the moment. She was in Seattle not long ago and performed live on The Roadhouse on KEXP with Greg Vandy. (Listen to the session here.) Hopefully, she’ll be back on the road this year. You keep up to date with Frazey Ford’s goings on at her MySpace page.
Here she is performing today’s featured song live in the KEXP studio: