They don't make bluesmen like T-Model Ford anymore, but there's no need for nostalgia. The nonagenarian (if his officially released date of birth is to be trusted) isn't ready for the salvage yard. On Taledragger, his latest recording with young backing band GravelRoad, the bluesman grunts and slurs with the urgency of Howlin' Wolf and the kind of unhinged crunch 'n' grind guitar groove that latter-day blues rockers can only simulate. Ford has Mississippi mud in his DNA. He also has a bone to pick with death. Whether he's copping the riff to "Mystery Train," getting high on psychedelic blues like "Someone's Knocking on My Door" or forever echoing the trance funk of running buddy Junior Kimbrough, T-Model spits the blues right back into the stunned face of mortality and any audience with the nerve to listen.
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