Bluesdoodles listens to music recorded and live from across the genres. Bluesdoodles reviews all albums received with an open-mind and will always look for the elements that make the music stand out from the crowd!. The albums we award 10 doodle paws too, for us have a special connection, and acknowledge like all reviewers our scoring is subjective. Between 1st April and 30th June 2016 Bluesdoodles reviewed 33 albums that reflect the depth and breadth of music being recorded in studios around the world. Remember albums not included on the lists are still excellent; definitely worth listening to and purchasing especially go see music live at venues near you support music and the artists who travel the roads so we can hear music full of passion and the special ingredient of a live performance.
This is the second quarter of 2016 and all of these will be in with a shout for the Bluesdoodles Dozen of 2016.
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 doodle paws out of TEN ….
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.
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, andPicnic 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.
The 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.
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
Pick of the Albums Reviewed – 2016: January – March
Bluesdoodles listens to music recorded and live from across the genres. Bluesdoodles reviews all albums received with an open-mind and will always look for the elements that make the music stand out from the crowd!. The albums we award 10 doodle paws too, for us have a special connection, and acknowledge like all reviewers our scoring is subjective. Between 1st January and 31st March 2016 Bluesdoodles reviewed 49 albums that reflect the depth and breadth of music being recorded in studios around the world. Remember albums not included on the lists are still excellent; definitely worth listening to and purchasing especially go see music live at venues near you support music and the artists who travel the roads so we can hear music full of passion and the special ingredient of a live performance..
This is the first list of 2016 and all of these will be in with a shout for the Bluesdoodles Dozen of 2016..
If your musical preference is a combination of roots blues and folk Americana delivered with irreverent humour and nuggets of folklore, this transatlantic duo of multi-award winners ticks all the boxes. Ian Siegal is the UK’s leading contemporary Bluesman, while Grammy-nominated songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Jimbo Mathus hails from Mississippi.
Live album recorded on their last sell-out tour. READ Bluesdoodles review of Wayward Sons – HERE
There are many roads in creating stand out music that gets noticed. It is a certainty that the musical furrow Ian and Jimbo are ploughing is one of them. Definitely Nothing Wayward in the Live Music from Ian Siegal and Jimbo Mathus.
Opening with Ian Siegal who gets the show underway and introduces double grammy winner and wonderful musician Jimbo Mathus. Wayward Sons, This is a live album brimming with bonhomie of friendship, bonding over music and the joy of singing, playing guitars and a generous dusting of charismatic magic. Ian and Jimbo in the spoken interlude are a double act, with background to the songs and wit.
This is a twenty-one track album that stretches the CD’s capacity so not a moment of wonder is lost.
The songs are a selection of traditional, artful covers and songs from Ian Siegel’s Picnic Sessions where he first met Jimbo back in 2013 and from Jimbo Mathus’ back catalogue. Opening with In The Garden, Jimbo opens with vocals and a feel of Dylan runs throughout and has a twist on connections with Paradise. We hear that Jimbo is glad to be brought overseas and we know they are back in 2016. Then it is Ian’s turn with a Townes Van Zandt’s Heavenly Houseboat Blues, the harmonisation is closer than close the guitar strumming hits the moods and connects to Jimbo’s harp playing. Recorded on Picnic Sessions by accident as Ian was playing it and the rest of the musicians joined in and the recording was captured.
Many people may have sung this song says Jimbo, but I am positive that Jesse James from this duo has a vim and vigour, they resemble outlaws as they approach blues/American roots music with a disrespectful swagger. The outcome is a devilish turning the known into a mighty opus of musical delight.
What do you need after a ditty about Jesse James, some gospel blues which is often included in Ian’s solo sets Mary Don’t You Weep sits in the show tonight perfectly. Ian and Jimbo are a pair of wickedly godf troubadours that just love to perform live and this energy exudes through the album. Casey Jones a tale of a brave engine driver, lives saved all wrapped up in synchronization of voices, guitars and that swagger that makes this music a zinging hum of electric energy. This like other well-trodden tracks are given a musical spring clean with a Siegal /Matthus interpretation. These artist are definitely not lazy in their approach, as they sing Old Earl, a tale of a lazy man who didn’t crawl until the age of seventeen, a real foot tapping, make you smile number. We leave behind outlaws and progress to pirates and an interlude where Ian checks what key, only happens in the live moment. Back talking about Overseas with Talkin’ Overseas Pirate Blues, is a sea swashbuckling number.
With cheers of delight the closing number, Ewan MacColl’s, Dirty Old Town draws the album to a close not with a whimper but a musical hurrah! This album will keep us going until we can hear the duo live for ourselves in UK & Europe in Spring 2016.
You need to purchase the album and hear every track for the nuances and more. This review is a mere snippet of the quality of the album a whisper in the wind that the music leaves behind.
Multi-award winning Ian Siegal & Jimbo Mathus have redefined great music, no pigeon-holes for them it is all about lyrics and guitars shaping the mood with vocals that stir your soul, make you smile, laugh and cry.
We all collectively have to thank whom- ever it was who pressed record at Café de Noot, a venue in Hoogland, Netherlands. So this show is not relegated to a folklore memory. We know how good it was because we have a front seat in our music rooms for today and beyond.
Bluesdoodles gives this CD TEN doodle paws out of TEN ….
Ian Siegal & Jimbo Mathus – Wayward Sons, Nugene Records Release date 4th March
In The Garden
Heavenly Houseboat Blues
Mary Don’t You Weep
The Story of Casey Jones
Crazy Old Soldier
What They Call You?
Talkin’ Overseas Pirate Blues
Too Much water
I’ll Fly Away
Dirty Old Town
You will not want to miss out check out venues, towns and dates HERE
A little preview of what Jimbo and Ian will be getting up to on our 2016 tour.
Pick Of The Bunch 2015 ~ The order is random all are brilliant and in with a shout for the Bluesdoodles Dozen of 2015..
These are from the albums I have listened to and reviewed throughout 2015 – this is my subjective collection happy for others to disagree. Bluesdoodles wants to thank every artist who has submitted music to be reviewed I listen and will always be honest and fair
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 doodle paws out of TEN ….
CONTINENTAL EUROPE: Austria, Belgium, Germany, Holland, Slovenia. Soon to be announced.
Ian Siegal and Jimbo Mathus On Tour
A flavour of what to expect from these two masters of blues and roots Americana when they tour the UK and Europe together in 2016
Delighted to say that I will be touring again with Jimbo Mathus in 2016 – a long tour starting in April and finishing in June. The UK end of the tour has been announced, which runs May to June. Shows in Austria, Belgium, Germany, Holland and Slovenia to be announced soon. Will also be releasing an album recorded on the last tour I did with Jimbo. Watch this space for details.
Ian Siegal and Jimbo Mathus will play some 40 shows across Europe in the period 22 April to 4 June 2016. This follows their successful first tour together in 2014. Ahead of touring the duo are releasing a 21-track album recorded during the debut tour.
If your musical preference is a combination of rootsy blues and folk Americana, delivered with irreverent humour and nuggets of folklore, then look no further. This transatlantic duo of multi-award winners ticks all the boxes, combining the talents of Europe’s leading contemporary Bluesman with the Grammy-nominated songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Mississippi.
For devotees of blues and Americana on this side of the Atlantic, Ian Siegal needs no introduction. He’s the eight-times British Blues Awards winner, three-times European Blues Awards winner, and two-times US Blues Music Awards nominee. He’s sung with the prestigious Orchestre National de Jazz in Paris, played in more than 40 countries, and among his latest albums is a BBC recording made at London’s Royal Albert Hall. His accolades include two from MOJO magazine for Best Blues Album of the Year. Ian is the only non-American to achieve this distinction.
Read what Bluesdoodles said when they toured in 2014 – “Ian, Jimbo and guitars…… musical fun when delivered with confidence, feeling and a twist if that devil magic”. HERE
Once again award winning country/blues maestro of vocals and guitar has delivered an album that is different, very special yet 24 carat Ian Siegal in all his guises. The album recorded at Dickinson’s Zebra Ranch in the style of Mississippi Porch approach, where they sat in a semi-circle around old ribbon microphones, played and sang with the old tape machine switched on the old tape machine – Picnic Sessions is the result it is as we played and felt the music it is a natural sound reflecting the mood of the moment.
There is a mix of new, old and something blue and to the 16 tracks Bluesdoodles was delighted to hear live two from an early album Standing In The Morning – How Come You’re Still Here and Beulah Land where you can imagine sitting on a carriage with a pair of horses in hand the dust being kicked up and the sun high in the sky he paints in music and words a musical country embroidery. Love the creativity as Ian goes off piste and we have the sounds of Topol and Fiddler On The Roof, Eastern European beat and swirling of dancers around the fire then seamlessly returning to the original country tempo and beat. Then two favourites from his solo shows and recorded on Man and Guitar – Gallo Del Cielo and Hard Times (Come Again No More) showing the power of these two tracks and how you never hear them done quite the same way twice.
The rest of the album is new tracks including little hidden insights conversation shows how the tracks are being developed on the hoof as heard on Keen and Peachy which has a haunting sound and the first time ever hear car seat and ceviche in the same sentence.
Wasted Freedom is simple guitar and Siegal combo full of poetry of love lost and regrets that cannot be put right it is a compelling song that for me is a Siegal blues delight. There is fun on the album as well with Talkin’ Overseas Pirate Blues, with a spoken intro that is harking back to the style of talking blues and Now Its A Party with the mandolin the perfect accompaniment to create a tune that hints at dancing
This album is not all about Ian Siegal’s guitar and voice it is the musicianship of Cody Dickinson, Alvin Youngbloodheart Luther Dickinson and Jimbo Mathus. The collection of instruments played adds a quality that would never have been found if this was a studio album. It is the fact that they grabbed the nearest instrument and joined in that makes this album an unpolished gem that shines because the mastery is encompassed in the music and freedom of expression and not by magic tricks of the mixing desk and post-production wizardry.
This is not a blues album for the purist but it is a must purchase for everyone who loves free flowing live music that is a meshing of styles and tempos creating a cohesive sound that is Ian Siegal and his Merry Musicians around that virtual campfire.
Bluesdoodles gives this CD TEN + + doodle paws out of TEN ….