7/21: T-Model Ford at the Beachland

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Blues 101 teaches us that the music was birthed in the rural south and made its way north after World War II to Chicago, where it was electrified and popularized by greats like Muddy Waters and Howlin’ Wolf. While the music mostly modernized over the years, it took a serious U-turn in the retrofitted repertoire of James Lewis Carter “T-Model” Ford. In the hands and voice of this eightysomething Mississippi-bred guitarist, familiar blues tunes are reintroduced to their primitive roots. Ford’s raw roadhouse technique can strip the big-city polish off of any tune. While leading a blues life in most other respects — including more than a few visits behind bars — Ford didn’t take up the guitar until he was 59 years old. He was among the Mississippi artists introduced to the world in the ’90s by the Fat Possum label, debuting in 1997 with Pee-Wee Get My Gun. His most recent album is last year’s Jack Daniel Time. Lifting his nickname Taildragger from a Howlin’ Wolf tune, there’s also more than a little “Wolf” in Ford’s vocals. For a man used to eight-hour juke-joint romps, a concert set is a piece of cake. Expect your money’s worth. Church of the Lazy Bastard open at 9 p.m. at the Beachland Tavern (15711 Waterloo Rd., 216.383.1124). Tickets: $10 advance, $12 day of show. — Duane Verh

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