Home Read Classic Album Review: T-Model Ford | Bad Man

Classic Album Review: T-Model Ford | Bad Man

The 80-year-old bluesman is still kicking ass and taking names on his fourth album.


This came out in 2002 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


Looks like it’s true that only the good die young.

With Junior Kimbrough gone for good and R.L. Burnside all but out of commission, the malevalent T-Model Ford could end up the last old Mississippi bluesman standing. And he ain’t just walking tall — the 80-year-old singer and guitarist is still kicking ass and taking names on his fourth Fat Possum outing Bad Man. Yanking and cranking notes out of his old guitar, growling and howling the praises of Sallie Mae, Black Nanny and the Backdoor Man, Ford spurns traditional musical trifles like rhythm, measures, key changes, downbeats, rehearsal and arrangements, knowing full well it ain’t how you play, it’s what you play. And what he plays is seldom short of mesmerising, as he puts his head down, conjures up the hoodoo and plunges headlong into the grooves, laying down hypnotic, Hookerish boogie-stomp licks while longtime drummer Spam bashes away in a ragged pocket, churning the beat like an old washing machine. If blues this fierce and electrifying is bad, what’s the point of being good?

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