Archive for the T-Model Ford Category

T-Model Ford – Jack Daniel Time 2008

Posted in BLUES, T-Model Ford on December 16, 2010 by whoisthemonk

T-Model Ford – Jack Daniel Time  2008


T-Model Ford, like several of his Mississippi Delta blues peers, enjoyed a hard-earned, late-career renaissance over the last decade or so, thanks to his raw, sweaty recordings for Fat Possum Records. Ford now hopes to continue that flourishing for the relative young Mudpuddy Recordings, and his first effort for the new label, a live disc called “Jack Daniel Time,” lacks some of the grit and punch his Fat Possum efforts had. However, the new album is still proof that the Mississippi blues tradition remains alive and well to this day, especially because it’s the real Delta deal. Recorded with long-time, down-home cohorts at a juke joint with a leaky roof, the CD especially shines when Ford performs by his lonesome on his first-ever non-electric recordings.
By Ryan Whirty.
80-something-year-old Delta bluesman, T-Model Ford delivers his signature, raw, real Mississippi blues – featuring performances with an all-star band as well as his first solo acoustic recordings ever.
80-some years of hard livin’ and lovin’, fightin’ and cuttin’ has led to this: a brand new album of whiskey-soaked blues on a brand new label – the man they call “T-Model Ford” on Mudpuppy Recordings.
T-Model (a.k.a. The Taildragger) hails from Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup territory in Forest, Mississippi. He spent years in Clarksdale and currently resides in Greenville, Mississippi. Through his long and storied life, T-Model has been married five times, survived a stint at Parchman Farm and served two years on a Tennessee chain gang. He’s also played a bit of blues along the way and is as likely to be found playing huge European festivals as he is harassing the ladies at his favorite juke joint, Red’s Lounge, where this CD was recorded (live to tape with no overdubs).
Joining T-Model on “jack daniel time” is Terry “Harmonica” Bean – now in his late forties – who started his professional blues career backing up T-Model but quit him after one too many fights broke out at their gigs. Drummer Lee Williams is a veteran of the Clarksdale blues scene and another regular at Red’s. On hand as a very special guest was one of T-Model’s first drummers (and ex-Jelly Roll King), the legendary Sam Carr.
In between band sessions, T-Model also took time to play a few solo acoustic numbers – his first non-electric recordings ever. The session, itself, was predictably chaotic with rain occasionally finding its way through the leaky juke joint roof and on to the drum set and assorted electronics, but the Taildragger’s spirit never dampened. After all, as T-Model (and Mudpuppy Recordings) will tell you, it’s “jack daniel time”!
01 I Love You, Babe (Acoustic)    2.29
02 Red’s Houseparty    4.04
03 Jack Daniel Time    3.39
04 Big Boss Man    3.15
05 Rock Me Baby    2.17
06 That’s Alright Mama    2.15
07 Hi-Heel Sneakers    5.00
08 Got a Woman    3.39
09 Mistreatin’ Woman    5.25
10 Killing Floor    3.49
11 I Love You, Babe (Band)    6.49

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T-Model Ford – She Ain't None Of Your'n 2000

Posted in BLUES, T-Model Ford on December 14, 2010 by whoisthemonk

T-Model Ford – She Ain’t None Of Your’n 2000


The unmistakable Fat Possum sound–rough and pumping juke-joint blues and dance tunes played by latecomers like R.L. Burnside and Junior Kimbrough–has brought traditional down-home blues full circle, from the Delta to Chicago and back again. With his third album of raw, relentlessly rocking songs and shouts that make his peers’ nastiest efforts seem tame, 78-year-old Fat Possumer T-Model Ford takes his listeners on another adventurous journey to the dark, delirious heart of Mississippi. Clear out the furniture and check out the growling voice and guitar of “Woodcuttin’ Man” and the more sensual “Sail On,” the wickedness of “Chicken Head Man” and the innocent joy of “I Got a Home.” Prominent amid all the grit and rowdiness is the haunting “Mother’s Gone,” a raw confession of pain and loss that recalls the great Blind Willie Johnson’s masterful “Motherless Children Have a Hard Time” in its rugged poetics.
By Alan Greenberg. AMG.
OK, call me old and hard to please, but I prefer this stuff to some of the glam blues-rock that is being released today. T-Model Ford was between 78 and 80 years old at the time of this release and if not for the late Robert Palmer and Fat Possum, probably would not ever have been recorded. Like his “contemporary” peers, Cedell Davis, Paul “Wine” Jones and the incomparable RL Burnside, Ford represents one of the last authentic Mississippi Hills bluesmen whose music was often overlooked and underappreciated. As such, many of them never recorded, were poor, hungry and plenty angry. Oddly, it is these very traits that set these individual apart from the better known Texas or Chicago bluesmen.
The music is harsh and primitive and yet tells a story that needs to be heard. Ford nails Howlin’ Wolf’s “How Many More Years” and presents it in a manner never before heard. While “Leave My Heart Alone” carries a beat not unlike John Lee Hooker’s “Boom Boom”. Ford raises the dead on “Chicken Head Man” and draws attention from punksters with the heart stopping beat on “Take A Ride With Me”. T-Model Ford hits you with plenty of down and dirty guitar and thumping drums and presents an attitude befitting of a teen. Grab this one before it’s too late.
01. She Asked Me And So I Told Her (3:22)
02. Sail On (3:29)
03. Take A Ride With Me (3:21)
04. Chicken Head Man (4:00)
05. When Are You Coming Back Home (2:37)
06. Junk (3:22)
07. Leave My Heart Alone (3:19)
08. How Many More Years (3:59)
09. I Got A Home (2:06)
10. Wood Cuttin’ Man (3:22)
11. Mother’s Gone (3:54)
12. Whatewer[Untitled] (:13)

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T-Model Ford – You Better Keep Still 1998

Posted in BLUES, T-Model Ford on November 26, 2010 by whoisthemonk

T-Model Ford – You Better Keep Still 1998


James “T-Model” Ford is the stereotypical old bluesman from rural Mississippi. However, he records for Blues/indie-rock label, Fat Possum out of Oxford, Mississippi. Ford’s first album, _Pee Wee Get My Gun_, was “primitive” or lo-fi, up-beat, and had a peculiar emphasis on violence. _You Better_ doesn’t live up to the quality or the intensity of the first. The album highlights Ford’s idiosyncratic personality with songs like “These Eyes,” in which Ford imitates a girlfriend’s voice. A pretty good version of “Catfish Blues” also appears on the album as “The Old Number.” An interesting blues remix also turns up on the album. “Pop Pop Pop” is in the same vein as the material on fellow Fat Possum artist, R. L. Burnside’s Come On In. Overall, I believe, this album suffers from underproduction. A lot of the material sounds like a first take. T-Model Ford can play good music, but some rehearsal and refinement wouldn’t hurt the quality of the music.
A menacing set of old school blues. The drumbeat on “If I Had Wings (Part 1)” sounds like a stapler being pounded on a desktop. Or a skull. “(Part 2),” which ends the record, is a more straightforward, acoustic lament, except the slurred vocal sounds like “if Ah had Wang!”

The remix of “Pop Pop Pop” (and I’ve not heard any original mix) begins with a heavy, sampled beat, then sets T-Model loose in a flurry of guitar noise, funky keyboard blips, and ungodly howls. “I’ll play drums, you play your guitar!” shouts Mr. Ford. To freakin’ Trent Reznor, I presume.
T Model Ford’s YOU BETTER KEEP STILL is an even more stripped-down proceeding than its predecessor, PEE WEE GET MY GUN, as the keyboards and second guitar of the earlier record are often jettisoned the in favor of stark solo blues. In addition, Ford’s voice and guitar are often accompanied only by the simple, low-key drums of his bandmate Spam.

The remix of this album’s “Here Comes Papa” fleshes out the sound a bit, into something akin to R.L. Burnside’s recordings with the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, but the most effective songs here are the simplest. There’s the two-part “If I Had Wings,” which brackets the album, as well as the rollicking “Catfish,” which sounds not at all unlike some of Son House’s Library of Congress recordings. Despite the tongue-in-cheek nicknames of the bandmembers, YOU BETTER KEEP STILL is dead-serious blues.CMJ (2/15/99, pp.24-25) – “…a stripped down affair, with the singer/guitarist’s first person yowlings of woe and women backed only by a few chords and/or the unsteady, all-feel beats of drummer Spam…”
From CD Universe.
It’s tough to look bad-ass when you’re 77 years old, but check out the sneer on T-Model Ford’s face on the cover of You Better Keep Still. The black hat-sporting ex-con from Mississippi didn’t get serious about music until he was in his late sixties and he still doesn’t take anything seriously as he improvises his way through many of these songs. Musically, he keeps everything as simple and spare as can be; no solos, just jagged guitar riffs set to his partner Spam’s primitively unadorned drumming. The record begins with T-Model banging on a wooden box on “If I Had Wings, Pt. 1” and talking madness about trying to get a drink of water and being attacked by various reptiles and women he attempts to hit on. Then comes the extremely catchy guitar riff from “To the Left to the Right,” a frenzied, juke-joint dance number. There’s also the harsh, out of tune “Here Comes Papa” and the wacked and very funny “These Eyes.” Though it’s not really essential to the record, producer Jim Water’s noisy remix of “Pop Pop Pop,” based mostly on a riff from “Here Comes Papa,” is groovy. But T-Model Ford is in no need of a club remix. He’s got everything down perfect and the wild blues that flow naturally from him are as real and feisty as blues music gets.
By Adam Bregman, All Music Guide.

01. If I Had Wings (Part 1)   3:35
02. To the Left to the Right   3:16
03. Look What All You Got   4:24
04. Here Comes Papa   4:11
05. We Don’t Understand   3:09
06. These Eyes   2:57
07. Pop Pop Pop (Remix)   4:27
08. The Old Number   4:56
09. Come Back Home   3:45
10. If I Had Wings (Part 2)   4:04

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