(James Lewis Carter Ford)
Born: c. 1922, Forest, Mississippi
Died: July 16, 2013
Photo credit: Francoise Digel – email@example.com
T-Model began his musical career in his early seventies, and has continuously recorded for the Fat Possum label, then switched to Alive Natural Sound Records. His musical style melds the rawness of Delta blues with Chicago blues and juke joint blues styles. Ford took up the guitar when his fifth wife left him and gave him a guitar as a leaving present. He trained himself without being able to read music or guitar tabs. Hodgkinson observed that Ford could not explain his technique. He had simply worked out a way of playing that sounded like the guitarists he admired – Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf. Ford toured juke joints and other venues, for a while opening for Buddy Guy. In 1995, he was discovered by Matthew Johnson of Fat Possum Records, under which he released five albums from 1997 to 2008. Since 2008, T-Model worked with the Seattle-based band, Gravel Road. Ford had a pacemaker inserted at the end of one tour, but appeared on stage again with Gravel Road in 2008, 2009 and 2010. He suffered a stroke in early 2010, but despite difficulty with right-hand mobility, managed to complete a successful tour with Gravel Road. T-Model has eight albums to his credit: Pee-Wee Get My Gun – 1997, You Better Keep Still – 1999, She Ain’t None of Your’n – 2000, Bad Man – 2002, Don’t Get Out Talkin’ It – 2008, Jack Daniel Time – 2008, The Ladies Man – 2010, and Taledragger – 2011.