T-Model Ford has got quite a tale to drag.
(New York, NY)
He is from Mississippi. He doesn’t know his exact birth date, but it is estimated that he is somewhere between 86 and 90 years of age. Throughout his life he’s held numerous blue-collar jobs and spent countless nights in jail. His ankles bare the scars of 10 years on a chain gang…reportedly for murder. At the age of 8 his father (allegedly) beat him so badly with a piece of firewood, that he lost a testicle. One of his wives slit his throat (which he survived) and another died while attempting to induce a miscarriage, by drinking poison. He has been beaten, stabbed, and shot and he claims that the only woman he ever truly loved poisoned him at the breakfast table and was never heard from again. It sounds like the clichéd story of a fictional bluesman, but according to James Lewis Carter (a.k.a. T-Model) Ford, who didn’t even begin his music career until he was in his 70s, it is the story of his life and it is all true.
His latest studio effort, TALEDRAGGER (from Alice Records), is a gritty, raw and at times, extremely sloppy throwback to the heyday of “real” electric blues; with an emphasis on the work of Howlin’ Wolf. Its fuzzed out vocals and guitars as well as the ethereal tone of its backing organ, at times, pulls the album’s sound into the realm of ELECTIRC MUD psychedelia, but at its core, TALEDRAGGER is a rollicking blend of Chicago groove, juke joint jump, Delta rawness, electric crunch and good ol’ fashion “attitude.”
Ford definitely does not knock every track out of the park, but he delivers an interesting album that, as a whole, somehow manages to fill the void of “authenticity” in today’s contemporary blues while providing a beefy hard-edge that is akin to bands like The White Stripes and The Black Keys. It is not an album that will go down in history as one of the “all-time greats,” but TALEDRAGGER does just happen to contain a little something for everyone and is definitely worth checking out.
If you enjoyed this article you may also enjoy The Black Keys’ Brothers CD Review.
Thanks and keep reading The American Blues News.
Checkout jblakeblues.com for some local NYC blues and J. Blake gig dates.
Copyright © 2011 – J. Blake. All Rights Reserved.