Robben Ford Keep On Running

Keep on Running is blues axe grinder Robben Ford's tip of the hat to the classic soul sound of Memphis in the 1960s. Stax Records influences are all over the album with nods to Booker T. & the MG’s and a guest appearance by Mavis Staples on "Peace Love & Understanding" — in itself a unique interpretation and one of the record's highlights. Much more laid-back and romantic than Costello's version the track stands out on an album with numerous faithful covers — Cream's "Badge,” Otis Rush's "Can't Do My Homework" and the title track, a Spencer Davis Group original. Keep on Running isn't by any means a guitar workout and Ford serves the soul vibe by letting the horns, Wurlitzer and rhythm section (and John Mayall's harmonica in rockier numbers like "Lifetime Thing") do most of the talking. Even when he does let loose, like on the instrumental "Cannonball Shuffle,” the surly old school Freddie King tribute is tasteful and melodic to the finish. (Concord)