Everlast Love, War and the Ghost of Whitey Ford

Everlast Love, War and the Ghost of Whitey Ford
Following the break up of House of Pain, front-man Everlast reinvented himself as sensitive blues singer/rapper Whitey Ford. With his latest, Everlast continues to channel the ghost of Ford, adding more dramatic flair to his typical blue collar blues mixed with acoustic folk and hip-hop with the addition of a soaring string section, some horns, a piano and even the occasional chorus. A perfect example of the evolution is "Friend," which opens like a typical Everlast acoustic guitar ballad but soon fills with violin, viola and cello. It's bigger and badder, and adds more emotional resonance to Everlast's authentic stories. "Letters Home From the Garden of Stone," written as a letter from a reluctant soldier serving overseas and sung over a funky hip-hop beat, is a definite highlight, as is his cover of Johnny Cash's "Folsom Prison Blues," which is a mash-up of sorts, with a DJ Muggs beat that reuses the rhythm track from Cypress Hill's "Insane in the Membrane." Most unusual, however, is final track "Saving Grace," Everlast's depressing new theme song for the TV show of the same name. Everlast has once again combined an interesting mix of styles into a sound that doesn't sound forced, but this time it does sound fuller. (Martyr-Inc.)