James Lewis Carter Ford, artísticamente conocido como T-Model Ford (1924 - 16 de julio de 2013), fue un músico estadounidense de blues. Comenzó su carrera musical en los años 1970; grabó regularmente para el sello Fat Possum, y luego se cambió a Alive Naturalsound Records. Su estilo musical combina la crudeza del Delta blues con el Chicago blues y el juke joint blues.
James Lewis Carter Ford (c. early 1920s – July 16, 2013) was an American blues musician, using the name T-Model Ford. Unable to remember his exact date of birth, he began his musical career in his early 70s, and continuously recorded for the Fat Possum label, then switched to Alive Naturalsound Records. His musical style combined the rawness of Delta blues with Chicago blues and juke joint blues styles.
According to records, Ford's year of birth was between 1921 and 1925, though at the time of his death his record company gave his age as 94, suggesting a birth in 1918 or 1919. Starting with an abusive father who had permanently injured him at eleven, Ford lived his entire life in a distressed and violent environment, towards which he was quite indifferent.
Ford, an illiterate, worked in various blue collar jobs as early as his preteen years, such as plowing fields, working at a sawmill, and later in life becoming a lumber company foreman and then a truck driver. At this time, Ford was sentenced to ten years on a chain gang for murder. Allegedly, Ford was able to reduce his sentence to two years. He spent many of his years following his release in conflicts with law enforcement.
Ford lived in Greenville, Mississippi and for a time wrote an advice column for Arthur magazine. Reportedly, he had twenty six children.
According to music writer Will Hodgkinson, who met and interviewed Ford for his book Guitar Man, Ford took up the guitar when his fifth wife left him and gave him a guitar as a leaving present. Ford trained himself without being able to read music or guitar tabs. Hodgkinson observed that Ford could not explain his technique. He simply worked out a way of playing that sounded like the guitarists he admired - Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf.
Ford toured juke joints and other venues, for a while opening for Buddy Guy. In 1995, he was discovered by Matthew Johnson of Fat Possum Records, under which he released five albums from 1997 to 2008.