Band of Storms Ridden by Jimbo Mathus

 Band of Storms Ridden by Jimbo Mathus

Band of Storms Ridden by Jimbo Mathus

 

With Jimbo Mathus, expect the unexpected and expect to be entertained with music steeped deep in the roots of the soul of American music. Band of Storms is no different, Come On Ya’all opens the album with a smile as he sings Gringo Man. This is a rock n roll ditty that has a smile on its face and feet tapping ‘dance-with-me’ rhythms. Jimbo mixes it up like the weather one moment it is hot and swampy, then we have blues of very hue into the weather forecast of every type of musical storm we stir in gospel, honky-tonk and Mississippi Hill Country Vibe. His band of musicians have the same easy-going approach to music fired by the South it is music that has many names but above all rooted in the emotions, feelings and hurt of folk, connecting with us all who have experienced life.

The nine new tracks are all written by Jimbo with one exception the country tones of Play With Fire co-written with us his late friend Robert Earl Reed. Full of country twang, and vim as Jimbo uses a twangy piece of elastic to stretch the country feel into a free-form musical flow that curls around the vocals. The next two tracks are a complete contrast Stop Your Crying with its gentle acoustic opening, the beat picks up, the vocals slow the tempo down this is a folk poem that makes the hairs on your skin stand on end, the hurt and pain as he begs ‘stop your crying baby’. The voice rises full of emotional angst joined by backing singers and searing music. Do we have time after the emotional angst? No we do not. We are now in for a storming number, rock, punk craziness as Springsteen collides with the Rolling Stones we are in the eye of the storm full of Massive Confusion. This is a track the fuels the album with storming energy as the rawness exudes through the speaker you are driven along on a crest of a wave of musical pleasure.

We travel across the Atlantic and the English folk woven into the textural landscape of Wayward Wind; written in an English Pub while drinking rum it is a travelling, drinking pirate song. I wonder who the pirate is that joins him on the Wayward Wind of life’s chances and opportunities. (Could it be Ian Siegal? They have been known to travel together on the road as Wayward Sons shows) Slow thoughtful blues deep and grounded in the Cotton fields is Slow Down Sun the guitar growls and snarls with assertive power never aggressive but Blues that are modern and rooted deep in the past.

Closing the album we have a track that fits in perfectly but so dissimilar to the other seven tracks with Keep It Together, one-hundred percent Jimbo in its difference. Then too soon we are listening to the last track, Catahoula. An American dog breed named after Catahoula Parish, Louisiana is a slower wistful number full of guitar and percussion. The album is seven tracks full of warmth that reflect the changing moods of a storm and the ever evolving music form that is roots music.

The album cover designed by Erika Jane Amerika, is the perfect representation of Jimbo guitar in one hand and fiery bible in the other. The iconography within the portrait is a reflection of the eight tracks that Jimbo has described as bits and bobs I had around. With his Catahoula dog, alligator and Yemayá (the “great mother” of Santeria religion). The whole album is like going horse-back riding after a long time you just get used to the walking when you find yourself cantering then trotting, the music is like this it takes you on a ride full of joy, blind corners and textural interest. You are in for a windswept journey in the company of Jimbo Mathus with his Band of Storms.

Bluesdoodles gives this CD TEN pawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Jimbo Mathus – Band of Storms – Big Legal Mess Records, via Fat Possum Records

Track Listings

  1. Gringo Man
  2. Can’t Get Much Higher
  3. Play With Fire
  4. Stop Your Crying
  5. Massive Confusion
  6. Wayward Wind
  7. Slow Down Sun
  8. Keep It Together
  9. Catahoula

Jimbo and Ian fills the Tunnels with Roots of Music

Jimbo and Ian fills the Tunnels with Roots of MusicJimbo and Ian fills the Tunnels with Roots of Music

Jimbo and Ian fills the Tunnels with Roots of Music

 

Tonight The Tunnels in Bristol celebrated an evening with music that refused to be defined. It was all excellent and rooted in the experiences of folk, African, European, the Worker, the Poor and the Enslaved.  The colossus that is Ian Siegal and Jimbo Mathus hit town tonight on a tour spreading their approach to music, life and humour across Austria, Belgium, Germany, Holland, Slovenia and with eleven dates left to play.

Jimbo and Ian fills the Tunnels with Roots of Music
Words barely capture the vibe, passion and the distilled essence of Ian Siegal and Jimbo Mathus’ music; they have a deep empathy and the harmonization and flowing tonal textures send chills down your spine and connects deep in your music DNA.  Tonight opened in a traditional Ian Siegal solo gig format with the wonderful Silver Spurs from The Dust he fills the stage and then when the last note of guitar recedes and his spinning fingers still he then invites Jimbo to join him on stage and the party begins. Ian introduces the multi-talented Jimbo with a new fact that he played on the score for Finding Nemo.  The flow of conversation linked the music and wove the tradition of storytelling with roots music this was a pair of troubadours in action.  Yes, there was a set list but this was flexible as they discussed what to play next, they dipped into traditional music and songs they have written and recorded on their live album Wayward Sons, and back catalogue of Ian’s including Man & Guitar, and Picnic Sessions. It was at the recording of Picnic Sessions that this pair of musical reprobates met and the happy partnership for music lovers was formed.

Jimbo and Ian fills the Tunnels with Roots of MusicThe set list mixed gospel, Mary Don’t You Weep, Blues Charlie Patton’s, Pony Blues and Mississippi Hill Country of RL Burnside with Long Haired Doney,  Wilie Nelson Country with Crazy Soldier via Willie Nelson and Tex-Mex courtesy of the song that never has a happy ending Gallo del Ciello. We learnt about mules that they were the infertile progeny of a Horse and an Ass, Jesse James’ pistol in the possession of Jimbo’s Dad and Rosetta Patton the daughter of Charley who bought Jimbo up. His music is steeped in the traditions and folk memories of Mississippi. Ian has a passion, deep understanding for the feel of the blues in all its shades and textures and when in Mississipi recording his name Ian was difficult for the rest to get to grips with, so he got called Overseas. Yes, he is from overseas but his understanding of the music makes him a natural, hence the Talkin Overseas Pirate Blues. This was artistry the show was immense and the music rolled on as guitars changed and for some of the songs Jimbo added harp plus delicious mandolin so sweet you could taste it.  Tallahatchie, a Jimbo number with a fantastic mandolin lead break, bringing more cheers and whoops of delights from an audience that sat in and listened in delight at the power of these two on stage. Favorites were included into the set  I Am The Train, Casey Jones and Hard Times Come Again No More, weaving the storytelling, connecting with our emotions as quality folk/roots music of the people for the people should.Jimbo and Ian fills the Tunnels with Roots of Music

 

Tonight’s show was a tour-de-force entertaining, funny and the music sublime we were transported into a land where music ruled we were in harmony and the singing  that accompanied the duo spontaneously on Dirty Old Town an encore that left us wanting more. You can tonight they move on to The Convent in Stroud. Continue to support live music if you can’t get there the solution is watch it online via Netgig – link HERE

Checkout the rest of Ian Siegal & Jimbo Mathus tour dates HERE

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Jimbo Mathus delivers Blue Healer

Jimbo Mathus Delivers Blue Healer

Jimbo Mathus delivers Blue Healer
Fat Possum Records

 

Blue Healer may have blue in the title but the music is authentically original refusing to be stuffed into a genre, Jimbo has created an album of twelve delicious tracks celebrating the power of music.  Every note infused with Jimbo’s energy, his spirit and his magic madness, every note is out of the very soil and structure of American music definitely not gentle and pleasing Americana this is music that rocks with an attitude that pleases. Jimbo Mathus has played the blues when working with Buddy Guy on Sweet Tea; he is also know through the success of Squirrel Nut Zippers, South Memphis String band and for his work with the Dickinson brothers and Ian Siegal. Having toured with Ian Siegal as a duo once was not enough and he is back touring Europe late Spring 2016 again with that great UK blues icon.

 

So Blue Healer is not the blues what is it? Blue Healer is twelve original numbers written by Jimbo with co-writers on three that roll out music that makes you smile, click your fingers and definitely stamp your feet to the pounding piano and guitar that rips up the joint. Opening with a Jaggeresque number Shoot Out The Lights you taken back to the sound of Exile on Main Street. Then we have an ode to addiction with acoustic guitar and lyrics that are as black as Johnny Cash’s shirt as the lyrics delivered by Jimbo as he begs for redemption on Mama Please and the piano pings and the guitar whirls around the music interlude between the pleas of a son to his mother! Then the title track opening with fairground organ, drums and a musical imagery of something supernatural just outside of your visual and hearing range, the tempo is deep, dark and slow and hooks you into the album.

 

The first three tracks are different to each other the common theme is Jimbo’s vocals, the power of the lyrics and melodic instrumentation that builds the drama with layers of tones and textures of sound that delights you to the core of your listening pleasure. Now a third way through it is the pedal steel creating the tonal mood with Sometimes I get Worried. Every track is worth mentioning but listen and make your own minds up other standout offerings are Bootheel Witch with backing vocals, rise in tempo and Jimbo singing with a screech and he wants you to love his rock n roll this singer from Mississippi with an air of madness in his eye as he stares at you from the cover.  The closing track also leaves you feeling up beat with a smile as Jimbo leaves you with Love and Affection!

 

The album has blended with the skill of a musician who understands the power of lyrics and importance of musical punctuation and the freedom to dip in across the  styles of modern popular music. I said there was no Blues, well not in a traditional way but with a concoction of styles, the feel of the guitar and the narrative he has captured the blues, healed it and spat it out in a modern form that is fresh. Jimbo Mathus is the Blue Healer with a bushel of swagger.

 

Bluesdoodles gives this CD TEN pawprint half inchdoodle paws out of TEN ….

Track Listing

  1. Shoot Out The Lights
  2. Mama Please
  3. Blue Healer
  4. Sometimes I Get Worried
  5. Ready To Run
  6. Thank You
  7. Coyote
  8. Bootheel Witch
  9. Old Earl
  10. Waiting On The Other Show to Fall
  11. Save It for the Highway
  12. Love and Affection