Lani Ford grew up listening to hymns, showtunes and lots of Chopin and Tchaikovsky. Every woman in her family was a classically trained pianist and/or organist but Lani barely learned to play Chopsticks. She had a mother who directed music at churches her whole life, but she was never invited to sing one single hymn. She played violin in grade school, making first chair her first year, but she had to give it up after 3 years when her family moved into a camper trailer in the boondocks of North Texas. She had to learn everything about music and life in the school of hard knocks. Now she is a prolific songwriter who helmed the New York City hard rock trio STARK from 2003-11.
Although sometimes abrasive and even shocking, Lani Ford is a wordsmith for the common people—people who work hard, play hard, make mistakes and keep on keepin’ on. In her new project, Tania & The Revolutionaries, she writes playful acoustic American Gothic rock that is bringing ballads back or as the group now calls it: “goth Americana”. On the new CD, The Final Blow, the songs have an ugly truth to them along with a sense of humor and strength. The 13 track disc takes you on a ride through a lot of emotions without being too heavy or too fluffy, dominated by adult themes and a sense of coming of age.
Before and after surgery on her wrist in 2010, Lani Ford recorded over 20 songs she had written for demos at 30Below Studios in New York City. She was inspired by a lot of the recordings where she had experimented with different guitars, Fender Rhodes keys and percussion, so she decided to make a little acoustic album, warts and all. She invited a few musician friends to come in and play. Turns out all but two of the musicians were women and they wanted to see if they could form an all-female band. Lani was reading the Patty Hearst story at the time and decided Tania & The Revolutionaries would be a cool name for the project and would cover people coming and going within the group. She wanted to escape the confines of the hard rock world and focus on the songs, revolting against the overly produced pop music of today on the small scale and the corporatization of America in the larger scheme of things.
Joined by core members Laura Sativa (flute, percussion, backing vocals) and Josette (guitar), the live show has Lani Ford singing, playing guitar and mandolin. Combined with the flute, percussion, harmonies, blazing solos and sparse arrangements, the act is quite unusual in this day and age. In New York they call it country. In Nashville, they call it rock. T & The Revs call it music. Viva la revolution!