by Joey Amato | photo by Amber Nichole
Kristen Ford is one of the most explosive names in Nashville’s alternative rock scene. The powerful singer/ songwriter is schedule to release her new EP next month led off by the single “Crooked Youth.” The song was written by Ford and was produced, engineered & mixed by Rachael Moore. The EP was created by an almost all-female roster of talent including Piper Payne, Ellen Angelico and Briget Boyle.
Ford found inspiration for the album in Bruce Springsteen’s Nebraska. “No Plans is the idea that you can just relax a bit as all your plans dissolve, and let life unfold,” explains Ford. “It will be alright after all. Much of this record unfolded effortlessly, at the right place and the right time. I hope this music can be a light for you as well, at least until life can resume again as normal, with tours and hugs and people gathered at venues, festivals and even some of my favorite dive bars.”
Ford is a multi- instrumentalist based in Nashville who prior to COVID-19, performed over 100 shows per year to bring her music to her fans around the globe. Since 2008, Ford has toured relentlessly across America and Europe, her sound evolving from beat-boxing solo acoustic to a one-woman looping band. She crafted pop hooks for electro-hop duo The Blu Janes, and lead of indie rock outfit Kristen Ford & The Assembly.
Adaptability and an eagerness to connect was learned early on; her black father was a frequent soloist at church, while her white mother was a ‘70’s folk devotee. Divorce, yearly moves and changing schools often, Ford found solace performing. First as an actress, then picking up guitar at age 14 writing her own songs as soon as she learned a few chords. She attended
“Fame” style high school PVPA studying with Mitch Chakour (J. Geils Band, Joe Cocker) and onward to the IMA rock camp for girls working alongside And The Kids, Sonya Kitchell and Naia Kete. Upon seeing Ani Difranco perform, she felt an electric and profound clarity. Ford decided she would dedicate her life to making music.
Having lived in six states by the time she was 18, then roaring out of the closest in Chicago, Ford is unabashedly biracial, queer, a lover of city skylines and dinosaurs. Dinosaur (2014) was recorded in Boston at Dimension Studios (Josh Ritter, Lake Street Dive, Ballroom Thieves). She toured her one-woman looping show for two years out of LadyVan, sleeping in Walmart parking lots, independently booking, promoting and performing over 400 shows across 48 states and three continents. Layering guitar, bass, vocals and drums at the same time.
In 2019 she crowdfunded over $20,000 for War in the Living Room, a forthcoming record co-produced by June Millington (of Fanny) and Brett Bullion (Now, Now, Bad Bad Hats, Lizzo). She has performed at Pride festivals nationwide alongside Betty Who, Billy Gilman, Troye Sivan and Melissa Ferrick. Inspired by a DIY ethos, an inability to commit to one instrument and crazy love for music, her time in Nashville has resulted in background roles on CMT’s Nashville, many co-writes, playing country drums on lower Broadway, lead guitar at Exit/ In, writer/publisher for SESAC, college representation with NACA and featured speaker at CDBaby DIY Conference. She has run several half marathons to raise money for girls rock camps, frequently travels to Spanish-speaking countries and hopes to someday visit outer space, the true final frontier for this fearless, genre-bending babe.