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Seventy-eight-year-old Mississippian James “T-Model” Ford was once sentenced to 10 years on a chain gang for murder. On that conviction he served only two years, but subsequent brushes with the law led him to spend many a Saturday night in the pokey. But that was then. Since 1997—with the aid of his faithful bass- and snare-bangin’ pal, Spam—this whiskey lover has released four albums of raucous hill-country boogie. As Chicago blues has headed for safe commercial blandness, Ford and Spam have been keeping folks shaking to their highway-speed, stripped-down grooves. Though some of the cuts are interchangeable, there’s simply no denying the energy. T-Model Ford opens for legend Buddy Guy at 7:30 p.m. at the 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW. $27.50. (202) 393-0930 (Steve Kiviat)