C9S3CD10 When this album was released in 1997 T-Model Ford thinks he might be 75 but he isn’t sure. When asked how many times he’s been in jail his response is ‘pretty much every Saturday night for a while’, although we do know he has been in jail for murder the rest is pretty vague. His only band member is his drummer called Spam, whose girlfriend is prone to smoking whilst carrying her oxygen supply around with her. This is just a small portion of the liner notes but you get the picture. This isn’t a plastic made for TV artist in fact I think I’d like to see Simon Cowell’s face if T-Model Ford rocked up at the auditions for X-factor.
This is raw blue, nasty dirty blues, if you think The White Stripes, The Black Keys or Seasick Steve had a raw sound then times that by 20 and you might get somewhere near the sound of T-Model Ford. In the mid nineties a number of artists like T-Model Ford were ‘discovered’ and brought into the mainstream. I use the term discovered loosely as they had been going for years but I guess the likes of R.L Burnside, Junior Kimbrough and to a lesser extent Cedell Davis, Robert Cage and others got a bit of the fame they deserved. This album is on the Fat Possum Record label which was responsible for bringing a lot of these artists to the general public. It is a great independent label that worked hard to promote these new artists and if you want an over view of what they do the compilation Not The Same Old Blues Crap is a great place to start.
The Blues is basic but good driven along at a pace by Spam on drums. You get 11 tracks all original as Blues can be as you hear the Blues classics in the rhythm and the beat of these songs. I suspect this music deserves to be heard in a dirty Juke Joint in Mississippi where it evolved, but I suspect it might not be the safest environment for a tourist to spend a Saturday night. Saying that I have survived a night in Newcastle’s Bigg Market so maybe I should have a go.
If you like The White Stripes or The Black Keys or saw Seasick Steve on Later with Jools Holland and thought I like the sound of that then this might be for you. It’s an insight into a different world of music that is still going strong and deserves to be heard.