T-Model Ford - Bad Man LP

T-Model Ford - Bad Man LP

Regular price $ 19.99

Legendary Memphis producer Jim Dickinson has nailed the vibe of this octogenarian Delta bluesman's rag-tag club and juke-joint gigs. That's good for purists, but not necessarily for fans of Ford's previous Fat Possum albums. The foot-stomping irrationality and whimsical violence of earlier numbers like the barking "To the Left, To the Right" and "If I Had Wings" have been traded for Ford's dusty-throated Howlin' Wolf imitations ("Ask Her for Water" and "Backdoor Man"), low-key dynamics, and meandering tempos. The sole surprise is "The Duke," an instrumental with Dickinson providing moonshine-inspired barrelhouse piano. Strip away Ford's legitimate eccentricities, which the label's house production team has played up in the past, and he's merely a competent guitarist with a drummer-sidekick, Spam, who knows just two patterns. The roughly autobiographical title track does tap Ford's reserve of twisted energy a bit as it totters over a dizzy roadbed of drunken chords and slide licks while he groans about his lost gun. But too often, Ford sounds more tired than tough here. --Ted Drozdowski