T-Model Ford

As his name suggests, T-Model Ford hails from another era. The 80-something blues guitarist blends primal, rhythmic Mississippi hill-country throb with raw Delta boogie by way of Chicago. The result roars and rumbles like a train’s steel wheels running over a mile-long fretboard, odd squalls of distortion mixing with unrestrained percussive crush. The beat moves with the inevitability of Michael Myers entering the copulating couple’s darkened room, and it invokes a similar menace, punctuated with scabrous guitar blasts and repetitive, enveloping grooves. Nearly as powerful as Ford’s playing is his voice, which has lost little of its conviction or easy-sidling charm. That’s good because Ford’s career got off to a late start. He was barely known outside Mississippi prior to his ’97 debut, Pee-Wee Get My Gun. He has made up for lost time touring prodigiously since, even refusing to let a pacemaker (inserted last year) quench his passion.

Categories: Music