James Lewis Carter Ford didn’t cut his first album until he was 75; didn’t even pick up a guitar until he was 58—late, late bloomer. Re-christened T-Model Ford, the Mississippi ex-con has channeled decades of hard livin’ into some of the rawest, toughest Delta blues ever to grace even the notoriously raw and tough Fat Possum label; most recently 2002’s aptly-named Bad Man. The Fat Possum Juke Joint Caravan tour (also featuring Paul “Wine” Jones, Kenny Brown and Cedric Burnside) hits Utah twice this week—get some history. THURSDAY, May 13 @ Brewskis, 244 25th Street, Ogden, 9:30 p.m. Info: 801-394-1713. Also: FRIDAY, May 14 @ Halo, 60 E. 800 South, 9:30 p.m. Info: 363-4522.
Important Disclosure No. 1: All those times you’ve been warned to bring earplugs to a Jucifer show? Not a joke. The Athens, Ga., domestic duo of Amber Valentine (guitar, vocals) and Edgar Livengood (drums) create a sexy—and literal—wall of sound with amps stacked to the rafters and a push-pull attack alternating between Black Sabbath in a tar pit and honeyed girly-pop; dig their smoldering new EP War Bird (Velocette). Important Disclosure No. 2: This hack’s own li’l band is among the somewhat-quieter opening acts. FRIDAY, May 14 @ Egos, 668 S. State, 9:30 p.m. Info: 521-5255 (with Spork and Purrbats).
As the name implies, it’s a night of soloists, acclaimed singer-songwriters armed with just a mic, guitar and tunes, spread over two Park City stages. At the Egyptian Theater, Greg Brown performing at 6 and 8 p.m.) and Kelly Joe Phelps headline over locals Mary Beth Maziarz and Gary Russell; at Plan B, it’s Steve Forbert (also 6 and 8 p.m.) and Jeff Lang over Doug Wintch and Leraine Horstmanshoff. Many a great song on one short street in one long night. SATURDAY, May 15 @ The Egyptian Theater, 328 Main; Plan B, 268 Main, Park City, 6 p.m.; 8 p.m.-1:30 a.m. Tickets: 888-322-9364.
The all-female AC/DC tribute market doesn’t begin and end with Hell’s Belles: Meet San Francisco’s AC/D-She, five leggy women dedicated to immortalizing the very mortal (read: drank to death) Bon Scott era of Australia’s greatest (and shortest) rock & roll export. “Bon was the epitome of cool,” singer Amy “Bonny Scott” Ward told the San Francisco Chronicle. “He treated the stage like a big party. You couldn’t imitate anybody that would be more fun than him. There was just something in my blood that said I need to go act like Bon.” Insert blood-alcohol joke here. SATURDAY, May 15 @ Sound, 579 W. 200 South, 9:30 p.m. Info: 328-0255.
Limos, champagne, supermodels, glitz, paparazzi—the CD release party for Starmy’s long-awaited second must be upon us. As promised by frontman Mike Sartain on many an occasion (some even sober), Black Shine (GoStarmy.com) is indeed a worthy garage-pop successor to 2002’s locally revered Dead Ready debut; 10 swank new tunes plus reprises of previous choice cuts. Defiantly glossy production and an infectiously giddy good-foot swagger set Black Shine apart from the darker and grittier Ready, but it’s still all Starmy. Carson Daly should be calling any day now. SATURDAY, May 15 @ The Urban Lounge, 241 S. 500 East, 9:30 p.m. Info: 746-0558 (with Hello Amsterdam and Coyote Hoods).
Sure, the breakup of influential Texas metal mercenaries Pantera was a sad occasion, but look at the upside: Two heavy-as-hell splinter groups. First there was singer Phil Anselmo’s Superjoint Ritual; now comes Damageplan, a new beast forged by guitarist Dimebag Darrell and drummer Vinnie Paul. Damageplan’s pulverizing debut, New Found Power (Elektra), expands on the Pantera palette thanks to versatile new vocalist Pat Lachman and a kill-’em-all intensity largely absent since the Vulgar Display of Power days. A Damageplan/Superjoint tour would be sweet, but ... SUNDAY, May 16 @ In the Venue, 579 W. 200 South, 7 p.m. Tickets: 800-888-8499 (with Drowning Pool).
NEW MODEL ARMY
At some points in their career considered the politico-rock successors to the Clash, Britain’s New Model Army made a small “modern rock” (now there’s a forgotten term) splash stateside in the ’80s and early ’90s with albums like The Ghost of Cain, Thunder & Consolation, Impurity and The Love of Hopeless Causes. Unlike most of their contemporaries, NMA never did the split/reunion thing, and their cause-driven alt-rock now seems all too relevant. “People have different ideas about politics and music,” says singer Justin Sullivan. “But the idea that they cannot belong together is bizarre.” SUNDAY, May 16 @ Egos, 668 S. State, 9:30 p.m. Info: 521-5255.
Purple on Time (Drag City), the fourth album from Chicago’s U.S. Maple, is being written up in the hipster press as the band’s most “normal” release to date—and it’s still a strange guitar-clattering trip through art-damaged blues and shaken-down indie-rock conventions. Frontman Al Johnson sings as if being strangled most of the time, lending songs like “I’m Just a Bag,” “Dumb In the Wings” and a disturbed cover of Bob Dylan’s “Lay Lady Lay” a nervy, desperate edge. Carson Daly won’t be calling any day now. MONDAY, May 17 @ Kilby Court, 741 S. 330 West, 8 p.m. Info: 320-9887.
“Ultimately, when you write music, you have to write from your heart, and if you try to second-guess what your audience wants, that’s not really being challenging with your art,” singer-guitarist-songwriter Shannon Wright told the Portland Mercury. “And if it means I make a record that I think is amazing, but nobody buys, then it has to happen that way.” Plenty of discerning audiences find Wright’s albums amazing, including her recent Over the Sun (Quarterstick), nine cuts of abrasive beauty and intimate loneliness straining at the descriptive limits of “folk,” not art. WEDNESDAY, May 19 @ Kilby Court, 741 S. 330 West, 8 p.m. Info: 320-9887 (with The Quails and Delicatto).
Brides of Destruction (In the Venue, May 21). French Kicks (Kilby Court, May 21). Spiv (Urban Lounge, May 22). Sophie B. Hawkins (Mo Diggity’s, May 22). Rasputina (In the Venue, May 23). Ron Sexsmith (Liquid Joe’s, May 25). Ex-Girl (Kilby Court, May 26). The Shins (In the Venue, May 27). Bob Schneider (Halo, May 28). Styx, Peter Frampton (Usana Amphitheater, May 28). Jill Sobule (Mo Diggity’s, May 28). Dashboard Confessional (E Center, May 29). Prong (Lo-Fi Café, May 30). Local H (Egos, June 2). Iced Earth (lo-Fi Café, June 2). Legendary Shack Shakers (Halo, June 9). Sparta (Lo-Fi Café, June 10). Mary Chapin Carpenter (Red Butte Garden, June 10). Rick Springfield (Scera Shell, June 11).