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CD Review: T-Model Ford's The Ladies Man

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The Deal: Deep dark Delta killer blues.

The Good: You gotta listen to his guy. He'll kill ya. In this case that's literally true. There's the murder T-Model Ford paid for on the chain gang and the ones he says he did and got away with like the hippie couple he allegedly ran down with his truck because he said they were in his way when he came out of his driveway. When he's not busy killin', drinkin' or womanizing, T-Model puts on eight-hour shows in backwater Mississippi delta juke joints. Recent tours with Buddy Guy and appearances at SXSW have brought him national recognition, but he still glories in his backwardness. "I can't read, can't write, can't even spell what I love man," he says on the spoken word segment, "I'm Coming to Kick Your Asses." The self-taught guitarist first took up the instrument at 58 and, now at 84, bangs away at it somewhat respectably aided by frequent belts of Jack Daniels. "In a week's time I was playing this sonuva gun," he brags. "I had them guy's wives leavin' home." His playing is somewhat pedestrian, thumping along on "44 Blues" as a ragged tribute to Wolf. But what he lacks in technique he makes up with swagger. "That's Alright" is the best cut on the record, with Ford sounding like he's been gargling swamp water laced with razor blades.

The Bad: Yes, he is. Don't push him. Just listen, marvel and get out before the shooting starts.

The Verdict: It's authentic as all get out, but needs a warning label: Don't try this at home.

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