• CURRENT RELEASE

    • Release
      TALEDRAGGER
      Jan. 11, 2011
      BUY
  • AUDIO

  • TOUR DATES

    No shows booked at the moment.


  • Recorded during a 14 show US tour this year, the groove on this new studio album is pure T-Model Ford. Backed by his regular touring band GravelRoad, and with stellar guest appearances by Brian Olive and Matthew Smith, Taledragger is a perfect party album with the feel and honesty of a night at the juke joint.

    Despite a mild stroke in April 2010, T-Model still plays with an intensity and consistency that belies his age. Now 90-years old, the self proclaimed “Boss of the Blues” continues to show his strengths. Playing the blues is his life, he knows no other way.  The well-documented Bad Man can be noted to, at times, simply have it bad, man.

    T-Model Ford’s new Taledragger album will be released on January 11, 2011 through Alive Records on color vinyl (limited to 900 copies), 180 gram vinyl (limited to 100 copies and available exclusively by mailorder through Alive Records), as well as CD and digital formats.

    T-Model Ford is making up for lost time.  Twelve months after his excellent Alive Records debut The Ladies Man, the 90-something bluesman from the North Mississippi hill country is back with a vengeance on his latest album Taledragger. On superb retellings of blues staples like “Big Legged Woman” and closer “Little Red Rooster”, the fuzzy, thick-as-molasses, reverb-fueled blues-rock-chug of the trio menacingly oozes behind Ford’s blacker-than-blue cracked growl.  With a little help from his friends, T-Model Ford has once again walked into the studio and bettered himself.”  – Alan Brown / POPMATTERS

    Ford has found a niche, partly because of his willingness to play the part of the hell-raising Southern Rimbaud and partly because his raw, unpolished sound touched a nerve among younger listeners whose tastes ran more toward punk. Despite his hard-living reputation, Ford outlasted all his contemporaries and has settled into a fertile period, with the new Taledragger being his third release in four years. It’s easily his most sonically diverse recording. On these eight tracks — a mix of originals, classics like “Little Red Rooster, and classic inspired riffs like the “Mystery Train” rewrite “Same Old Train” — the touches of saxophone, keyboards and guest guitars elevate Ford’s guttural growl to something on a par with Howlin’ Wolf himself.“ – Mark Jordan / GO MEMPHIS

    “A spectacular blues record. While the boys in Gravelroad complement T-model’s personality and style, they never get in his way; instead, they combine for some dark and dirty blues tunes.” – James Orme / SLUG MAGAZINE

    The entire eight tracks of Taledragger will leave you feeling like you’ve just dragged yourself bare foot across the muddy shores of the Mississippi. GravelRoad’s rhythm washes over you like an angry current while Ford’s aged voice soothes the soul like the sound of cicadas on a hot summer day. Taledragger has been produced for all the right reasons – for the love of music and to show anyone who’ll listen that T-model Ford still has gas in the tank.” – SPILL MAGAZINE

    “Here with his touring band GravelRoad, Ford delivers a short sharp shock: eight songs, two hitting past the seven minute mark, closing with a nasty-edged Little Red Rooster. This is roadhouse blues which is sharp and stinging. “ – ELSEWHERE NEW ZEALAND

    “With churning guitars, deathly slides and a terrific backbeat, Taildragger is classic Ford with its raw feel of a night at the juke joint.” – INNOCENT WORDS

    “Recorded with Ford’s road band, Taledragger is filled with an intensity you’d never expect from a 90 years old blues legend!” – KEYS AND CHORDS

    “… a fierce, raw intensity that penetrates to the bone.“ – NETHERLANDS BLUES MAGAZINE

    “T-Model Ford’s latest studio effort, Taledragger, is a gritty, raw and, at times, extremely sloppy throwback to the heyday of “real” electric blues; with an emphasis on the work of Howlin’ Wolf. Its fuzzed out vocals and guitars as well as the ethereal tone of its backing organ, at times, pulls the album’s sound into the realm of Electric Mud psychedelia, but at its core, Taledragger is a rollicking blend of Chicago groove, juke joint jump, Delta rawness, electric crunch and good ol’ fashion ‘attitude.’ As a whole Ford delivers an interesting album that somehow manages to fill the void of ‘authenticity’ in today’s contemporary blues while providing a beefy hard-edge that is akin to bands like The White Stripes and The Black Keys.” – J. Blake / AMERIBLUES

    “T-Model Ford’s joy for living seeps through every chord of Taledragger. That’s a particularly fortunate attribute, not only for his music but for fans of traditional Delta blues. As the number of that era’s bluesmen diminishes each year, savoring 90-year-old Ford’s robust tunes is especially sweet. The sparse but evocative set on this album includes only eight tracks but each is rich enough to make up for the small selection

    A cursory listen to Taledragger might conjure up the sound of classic pre-war blues, but closer analysis reveals an expertly crafted contemporary blues album with strict attention to Delta roots.” – Rosalind Cummings-Yeates / ILLINOIS ENTERTAINER

    “At ninety years of age T-Model Ford is still going strong, and his latest release on Alive Naturalsound Records, Taledragger, proves just that. Though T-Model Ford resides in the Delta, his style often leans more towards the hill country set, like Junior Kimbrough and R.L. Burnside, along with traces of old Chicago blues, like Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters. But if one were to get right down to it, one would admit that T-Model Ford has long since developed his own unique sound; a sound which melds the traditional with the modern in a way that would have most singer/songwriters falling flat on their faces, but not T-Model Ford, who welcomes the challenge with a sly grin and a practiced hand.“ –  James G. Carlson / NO DEPRESSION

    “The new album is a loud electric affair with dense instrumentation. The opening song, “Same Old Train” is a driving 7 minute long groove broken up by T’s singing, guitar solos, and some pounding piano courtesy of guest musician Brian Olive. This track broadcasts to the listener the essential difference between this album and the previous one – while The Ladies Man usually sounds like GravelRoad acting as a backing band with T Model front and foremost, on Taledragger, I’m hearing one seamless band of great musicians.” – NINE BULLETS

    “Despite suffering a mild stroke last April, T-Model is fine form on his eighth album, Taledragger. Recorded in the studio during last year’s US tour, Ford is backed by his talented touring band GravelRoad on the eight songs which include a couple of Howlin’ Wolf tunes as well as others that have been covered by other legends like Muddy Waters, Champion Jack Dupree, and Jerry Lee Lewis. T-Model Ford is also joined by Brian Olive (Greenhornes, Soledad Brothers) and Matthew Smith (Outrageous Cherry, Volebeats) on a few of the songs, showcasing his raw and rugged vocals with heavy reverb laden guitar. Standouts include ‘Big Legged Woman’ which clocks in at just under 8 minutes and traditional blues closer ‘Little Red Rooster.’ Taledragger is sure one of the best blues releases this year.” – J. Felton /  RECORD DEPT.

    “What Ford, Olive, Smith, Alexander, and the rest have wrought on Taledragger is a modern blues album with primitive roots. The tension works. It’s a far more interesting recording because of its “impurities” — paradoxically, making it a far more “authentic” blues record because it is linked to multiple historic traditions simultaneously. It’s exponentially more enjoyable and exciting as blues than anything coming out of Chicago in the 21st century.” – Thom Jurek / ALL MUSIC GUIDE

    “There’s plenty to like about Taledragger. Many of the songs here are covers, and some are pretty close rewrites of blues standards. For instance “Same Old Train” sounds a lot like “Mystery Train,” while “Red Dress” is basically a mutant cousin of Tommy Tucker’s “High Heel Sneakers.”

    I’m not sure who wrote the most moving song on the record — “I Worn My Body for So Long,” but T-Model makes it a personal testimony to his age and mortality. He sings it like a lonesome ghost, while the slide guitar evokes images of Mississippi graveyards. It reminds me of Kimbrough’s “Done Got Old.” But T-Model sounds more defiant.” – Stephen Terrell / SANTA FE NEW MEXICAN

    [9/10] “At approximately (he’s not sure) 90 years of age, T-Model Ford bursts out of the box on his second Alive Records outing like a banty rooster anxious to shake his tail-feathers all over anyone crazy enough to block his path. Rather like his former labelmate R.L. Burnside (both recorded for Fat Possum), Ford has grit ‘n’ gravel to spare. Also like Burnside, especially when electrified, Ford plays the kind of mid-tempo, butane-soaked boogie that could hypnotize a snake: this is the stuff from which a poor man can concoct a few hours of nirvana. Really, it’s this simple: For anyone who craves the kernel at the core of blues-with-a-beat; a kernel at the heart of much great rock ‘n’ roll, Taledragger is essential.”  – Mary Leary / BLURT

    “Make no mistake; Taledragger is a BLUES record with a capital B. Based around grooves, grunts and guttural yelps, it’s relentlessly live and relentlessly real, landing somewhere between Howlin’ Wolf’s London Sessions and RL Burnside and it’s happy to sell its soul at any crossroads pact you care to mention. It’s a record with the weight of almost a hundred years of hard slog on its shoulders, but at its best it stings, slashes and burns with an impressively youthful vigour. Records documenting life and how to survive it only rarely sound as exhilarating as this.”  – Tim Peacock / WHISPERIN & HOLLERIN / UK

    “An approximately 90-year-old ex-convict has persuaded hipsters everywhere to pretend to give a fuck about Mississippi blues, and that’s not even the most interesting thing about T-Model Ford. His live performances border on shamanic, and 10 percent of those hipsters will end up actually giving a fuck about the blues. Indeed, T-Model’s terrifying life story is less relevant than his music. So if you enjoy juke-joint jostlin’ and smoky-cool Delta blues, or if you’re captivated by their novelty, you’ll dig Taledragger. Especially “How Many More Years.” Hinging on a distorted, crunchy, low-end riff, it makes a perfect anthem for shooting heroin in a dive-bar bathroom.” – Barry Thompson / BOSTON PHOENIX

    “T-Model’s got all the credentials you’d hope for in a Delta blues player, and his bio’s veracity isn’t necessarily important as long as you can hear his life experience in his work. His latest, Taledragger, is performed with his band GravelRoad and takes a page from the style of R.L. Burnside.  His compositions have an unmatchable gravity… “I Worn My Body for So Long” and “How Many More Years” are as heavy as their titles, and work not by evoking a sense of pain or stoicism, but by demonstrating a peace with what is. Elsewhere, crunchy, imprecise drums drive murky, distorted vocals and feedback-drenched guitar, which don’t recall Muddy Waters so much as Woodstock-era psychedelic rock players. (The sound may actually remind younger listeners of Built to Spill’s Perfect From Now On.) Like T-Model’s personal history, Taledragger is a difficult story to unravel, but one that succeeds on its bullish affability.” – Ben Westhoff / WASHINTON CITY PAPER

    “Following up on a the 2010 T-Model Ford & GravelRoad’s release The Ladies Man, The Man and his band are back to kick off 2011 in that pure unadulterated North Mississippi Hill Country style. Showing that he has rebounded nicely from a stroke, the 90 year old Ford is back in fine form complemented perfectly by the GravelRoad trio and a host of special guests.”  – BOSTON BLUES

    “Despite suffering health setbacks, at 90 years of age T-Model’s still cranking out some ferocious sounds.” – BLUES IN BRITAIN

    “One of the last of the Mississippi Delta bluesmen, T-Model Ford’s unique take on the music is an inspired mix of rough-n-tumble, Delta-born juke-joint jams and stripped-down Chicago style blues, with a side helping of the hypnotic Mississippi Hill country rhythm. His music is raw, raucous, and as close to the primal Delta sound that you’ll find these days. Taledragger promises to offer more of the same…. a new bluesy assault on our senses”  – Reverend Keith A. Gordon  / ABOUT.COM: BLUES

    “T-Model, at 90 years old, is one of the rare modern bluesmen who sounds like he belongs in that golden era of gritty blues. Along with maybe Junior Kimbrough no one has made the blues as vital as T-Model Ford in the last decade.” – INDIGEST MAGAZINE

    “90 year old blues man T-Model Ford is keeping the blues alive on his new album Taledragger. If you like Muddy, The Black Keys, RL Burnside, John Lee, Howlin’ Wolf, The Doors, Jon Spencer, Reigning Sound and so on, you’ll dig the sounds of T-Model Ford and his band GravelRoad. – Bruce Warren / WXPN RADIO / SOME VELVET BLOG

    “… bringing back golden era-esque blues craftsmanship.” – PASTE MAGAZINE

    At the age of 90-years old T-Model Ford is still bringing down the house with his original blues sound.” – THE NOOB NEWS

    “Gritty, raw and real have been used so many times to describe blues musicians throughout the decades that it almost seem insulting to use them now, but when a 90-year-old man playing a fuzzed-out guitar sings about putting his foot in your ass, terms like that are bound to come up.” – NO DEPRESSION

    Even at the ripe old age of 90. Mr. T-Model Ford is still touring, keeping the juke joint blues vibe alive with his primal, hypnotic blues.” – SYNC WEEKLY

    Classic sounding blues.” – PLUG-IN MUSIC

    T-Model Ford is one of the last surviving great bluesmen, so we were all a-twitter when we heard this taste of his forthcoming album Taledragger. It’s a sultry soundtrack for a night at a juke joint, and a really promising sign that he’s still got it.”  – FLAVORWIRE

     “This is blues!” – RAPMASH / BOSTON

    ‘”T-Model Ford is ninety years old and could probably mop the floor with our current roster of auto-tuned R&B hacks. Though I’d rather not belabor the point about old vs. young, hearing a ninety year old blues man strum a guitar and kick-out something genuine makes you wonder when popular culture lost the plot and settled for third-rate.” – LETTERS FROM A TAPEHEAD

    FOR MORE INFO ON T-MODEL FORD:
    http://www.alive-totalenergy.com/x/?page_id=1054
    http://www.myspace.com/tmodelfordandgravelroad

    FOR MORE INFO ON ALIVE RECORDS:
    http://www.alive-totalenergy.com

    FOR MEDIA AND INTERVIEW REQUESTS:
    Tony Bonyata
    Pavement PR
    p: 262.903.7775
    e: bonyata@wi.rr.com
    http://www.pavementpr.com

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  • REVIEWS

    • "T-Model Ford, a 91-year old national treasure backed by a killer blues/rock (though that term doesn’t NEARLY do them justice) band, GravelRoad. T-Model Ford is one of the ORIGINAL Dirty Roots. This is blues heaven right here."

      NO DEPRESSION

    • "The band gives T-Model’s music power and swing like he’s rarely had before… providing a welcome antidote to today's slick and gimmicky blues scene. This sure as shit ain't Keb' Mo'"

      PERFORMER MAGAZINE

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