Just got the sad news that the great soul and blues artist Robert Ward passed away on Christmas day after a long struggle with health issues. Here’s the press release:
Black Top and Delmark recording artist Robert Ward passed away Christmas Day at about 3:30 PM.
He had been ill with kidney and other problems recently, and had been in failing health
since a couple of minor strokes over this past decade.
He was watching a video of a European concert appearance he had made back in the 90’s with his wife, Roberta, and she stepped into the kitchen just a few feet away to grab a snack for them. When she returned minutes later, he was gone.
Robert Ward (October 15, 1938 – December 25, 2008)
Robert Ward, who is most familiar for the immediately recognizable tremolo-soaked guitar playing behind Wilson Pickett and the Falcons’ recording of “I Found A Love,” died at 70 on Christmas Day in his home near Macon, Georgia. Ward had his first success in Ohio with the Untouchables.
After recording a series of regional-hit singles with the Untouchables, Ward disappeared. It turns out he’d gone home to rural Georgia, where he was playing as a guitarist in a rural church when he was rediscovered in the early 90s.
In 1990 Ward re-emerged with a label deal with Black Top Records, delivering the soul-blues classic ‘Fear No Evil’. Ward would subsequently record three more albums for the label during the 1990s with varying results, and in 1995 a collection of his early-60s work titled ‘Hot Stuff’ was released by Relic Records. In 2000, Ward signed with Delmark Records, which released his final album, ‘New Role Soul’, to critical acclaim.
He had a good second career, recording a couple of excellent albums for Black Top and touring. A good collection of his 60s work was reissued. For the last eight or so years, he’s been ill and no longer able to play music in public.
An underrated vocalist and songwriter, Robert Ward has come to be recognized as a skilled and imaginative blues and soul guitarist whose talents helped create some of the classic music of the 1960s and ’70s.
Here some Mp3’s that are representative :