Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside hits Café Du Nord 

We’ll start the week with a quick don’t-miss-this-act reminder that Oregon’s great folk/blues/rockabilly outfit Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside will be playing San Francisco’s Café Du Nord this Thursday, backing their debut full-length, “Dirty Radio.”

Don’t let appearances deceive you — Ford may resemble a bespectacled, ruler-thwacking schoolma’arm from the 1950s, but this kitten has a rafter-rattling meow and can really wail. Which is exactly why she has such alt-country players like The Avett Brothers firmly in her corner.

Ford grew up, in fact, on Avetts turf, in Asheville, N.C., the daughter of renowned puppeteer Hobey Ford, creator of the quirky Peepers and Golden Rod acts, to name a few. Still, she considered herself “the weird one” in the family when she took up violin and eventually relocated to Portland, where she soon assembled a retro-edged band.

Seth Avett saw her and was stunned — he promptly invited Ford and crew on tour as the Avetts’ opening act, and New Years Eve of 2009 found her back home in Asheville, playing alongside them at the city’s 7,700-seat Civic Center — the nicest homecoming imaginable, all told.

Catch her now before VH1 gloms onto her, or visit

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Tom Lanham

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