T-Model Ford's 4th album for Oxford, Mississippi's Fat Possum Records ("We're Trying Our Best") is one of his best. "Bad Man" — and he was!! — captures T-Model the man, the myth and the music from the first words to the last notes. Fan of blues hole-in-the-wall juke joints like Red's in Clarksdale (where T-Model used to play a couple weekends a month)? Then, you must own this album. We loved you, T! "I'm the taledragger [sic]... from Greeeeenvillle, Mississippi..." RIP.
Here's AllMusic's take on it:
Bad Man is a compelling slice of tough, gritty, genuinely lowdown blues. The things that make Ford so compelling are his soulfulness and his lack of slickness. The singer/guitarist doesn't clean things up; he just digs in, lets the emotion flow, and tells you exactly how he feels. As a result, tunes like "Black Nanny," "Ask Her for Water," and "Let the Church Roll On" have the sort of rawness and honesty that are missing from some of the slicker blues albums of the 21st century. Equally memorable is Ford's performance of Wolf's "Back Door Man"; although this Chicago blues standard has been recorded countless times, Ford manages to make the tune sound vital and alive rather than worn out and overdone. Bad Man (which is Ford's fourth Fat Possum outing) may not be the most innovative or groundbreaking release of 2002, but it certainly doesn't come across as contrived or formulaic either. And it's a disc that is easily recommended to anyone who likes his/her electric blues rugged, unpolished, and totally sincere.