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 doodle paws out of TEN ….
- Shoot Out The Lights
- Mama Please
- Blue Healer
- Sometimes I Get Worried
- Ready To Run
- Thank You
- Bootheel Witch
- Old Earl
- Waiting On The Other Show to Fall
- Save It for the Highway
- Love and Affection