Sallie Ford is the definition of anachronism. The Portland, Ore.-based singer sports ’60s vintage garb while banging out '40s jump-style tunes on instruments from the '70s with the cynicism towards modern pop and vocal wails that thrived in the '90s.
Her ode to the failings of commercial radio, “I Swear,” asks, “What have these people done to music? I just don’t care anymore,” in a nasal whine ala Kathleen Hanna that she flourishes with techniques similar to the yodeling trills that used to dominate country music. She isn’t being grandiose calling her band "the sound outside."
And yet, Ford is hardly an outsider. In August of 2011, she performed on Late Night with David Letterman. She spent this spring touring Europe. And after her appearance at Treefort Music Fest, the band will play a string of dates supporting rockabilly legend Wanda Jackson. Not too shabby.
Certainly, the retro-shtick opens doors, but bands don’t just show up to play Letterman. They earn it. And Ford’s incessant touring and deliberate decision to stay true to her interests rather than chase whatever sound is popular that week is what got her there.
You can catch Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside today, Thursday, March 22, at Treefort Music Fest at the Linen Building from 11 p.m.-Midnight.