T-Model Ford

With Robert Belfour. Thursday, May 22, at the Beachland Ballroom.

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Foo Fighters Tower City Amphitheater, 351 Canal Road, the Flats 8 p.m. Tuesday, May 27, $27.50 advance/$30 day of show, 216-241-5555.
T-Model Ford
T-Model Ford
Take away his drummer, his pickups, and his amp, and Mississippi-bred James "T-Model" Ford's music could have sprung from the Depression era. Had the folks at Excello Records been made aware, during the '60s T-Model might have turned out hits for the label alongside such swamp-boogie masters as Slim Harpo and Lightnin' Slim.

Four decades after the fact, it's our good fortune that the eightysomething Ford remains the most attitudinal country-blues artist on the Fat Possum label. Never short on swagger or energy, T-Model and his partner in crime, drummer Tommie "Spam" Myrick, typically deliver long, rockin' sets that are just as likely to accompany a juke-joint brawl as light up a rock venue. If one can imagine a classic Howlin' Wolf verse sounding even more primitive, T-Model's smooth-as-gravel vocals fit the bill. His current release, Bad Man, shows connections to the Wolf, Lightnin' Hopkins, and John Lee Hooker, but the power and the posturing are all T-Model. Show opener and labelmate Robert Belfour provides a more introspective persona, weaving an almost jazz-like grace into a solid rural guitar style. Word is, there'll be some recording goin' on, so be ready to respond.

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