It's always good to check in with T-Model Ford. When we last spoke, for an Indy cover story back in September, everyone's favorite nonagenarian bluesman told me about his exploits with chicken heads and chain gangs.
So given that T-Model's coming back to the Triple Nickel Tavern on Monday, April 25, I figured I'd make a call to Mississippi and find out what we can look forward to.
"Y'all comin' down here?,' asks T once his wife, Stella, puts him on the phone. I explain that, no, I'm calling because he's coming up this way, which prompts T to tell me about a spill he took the other day. "I landed on my back, and it done something to my arm, and I can't play guitar like I was."
Of course, this is a guy who didn't let a stroke or a pacemaker implant slow him down last time he toured. And, as always, the main draw is hearing T-Model sing his sometimes harrowing, often hysterical, always original variations on the blues.
So who's gonna play guitar, then?
"I'm gonna try to play it," says T. "I might get it back, get the swing of it again."
And if not, does T have somebody else ready to play guitar?
Um, who's Bill?
"White boy I play with."
Well, all right, then. Meanwhile, over at the Crystola Roadhouse, another blues legend is hitting town this Friday, April 22. Willie "Big Eyes" Smith turned 75 in January, picked up a Grammy in February, and he can tell you the rest in our interview on p. 39.
Shifting demographics a bit, I caught up with the ReMINDers — aka Samir Zamundu and Aja Black — at a Record Store Day gig last Saturday at Independent Records. This being an in-store, there were the requisite mic problems, and the sound wasn't exactly booming the way it was back when they opened for Mr. Lif at the Black Sheep.
But the local hip-hop duo still shined on the Fugee-esque "Outside My Window" ("The best trick the devil played, his greatest deception / Was this poisonous device, that gives satellite reception") — and other songs from their debut album, Recollect. (Watch a video of their opening number on our IndyBlog.)
Afterward, Aja told me that the group is finishing up tracks for Recollect's follow-up and looking forward to playing the CMJ Music Marathon in October.
I should also mention how proud I am for resisting such Record Store Day collectibles as the five-LP Flaming Lips box set and the ridiculously cool Rhymesayers picture disc featuring exclusive tracks from underground hip-hop geniuses Atmosphere, Blueprint and Aesop Rock. (Shit, wonder if it's too late to go back for that one.)
In a considerably mellower vein, your Reverb scribe's favorite local jazz vocalist, Carley Starr, aka Carla Starkie (some kind of Ringo thing, I guess), will take the Pikes Peak Center's Studio Bee stage at 6 p.m. this Thursday, April 21, followed by talented singer-songwriter Michelle Patterson.
And let's not forget El Ten Eleven, one of the few "math-rock" duos you'll genuinely enjoy listening to. They're at the Black Sheep this Saturday, April 23, along with the Springs' own Tango Red Tapestry opening. As for this week's Denver pick, I'm going with TV on the Radio at the Ogden on Tuesday, April 26. Until next week, then ...
Send your breaking news and hi-res daguerreotypes to firstname.lastname@example.org.