Robert Ward | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Robert Ward

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Guitarist Robert Ward was a seminal figure in several major pop revolutions in the 60s and 70s. In 1962 his band, the Ohio Untouchables, accompanied a gospel-drenched Detroit group called the Falcons (featuring an explosive young vocalist named Wilson Pickett) on a song called "I Found a Love" for the Lu Pine label. That record helped define the era's burgeoning deep-soul style. The Untouchables went on to fame as the Ohio Players; Ward went on to Motown records, where he contributed his distinctive tremolo-laden guitar to recordings by artists like the Temptations. He toured for a while with the Temps and Undisputed Truth before suddenly withdrawing from the public in the early 70s. Since reappearing about three or four years ago he's been leading his own band and his sound has gotten bluesier. His leads are as furious as ever and he's developed a wide-ranging repertoire of standards and originals alike. Ward seems to be still adjusting to the frontman's role: his pacing can be rocky and he sometimes forgets to dominate the proceedings. But the same quirky vision that propelled him to legendary status 30 years ago remains at the heart of his performances. Saturday, 10 PM, Buddy Guy's Legends, 754 S. Wabash; 427-0333 or 427-1190.

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): photo/James Fraher.

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