Local Wire

T-Model Ford @ The Rhythm Room

Blues music is a uniquely American tradition, but like any art form, it doesn't stay static. Over the past century, the blues have grown, morphed, and branched in big and unexpected ways. The biggest came when the blues of the Mississippi Delta moved up river to Chicago, changing both the sound and the social context. This is where T-Model Ford stands out as especially unique. The 90-something-year-old musician (he's unsure of his actual birthdate) integrates the Chicago blues style with the rough sounds of the Delta and taps the lawless spirit of Southern juke joints. T-Model Ford started playing music professionally in his 70s, but his connection to Fat Possum Records made him known to hipsters. Known to happily accept liquor from fans and for his amiable personality, he's one of those chameleons of music. He'd fit in equally well at a small town venue in the rural South and at the ultra-cool All Tomorrow's Parties festival. Who else does that — post-retirement age?

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Sarah Ventre