CD Review – Jimbo Mathus “Blue Light”
Jimbo Mathus – most famously known as a founding member of Squirrel Nut Zippers – has long championed a bushel of roots music, including gypsy jazz, pre-war swing, ragtime, blues, country, folk, string band, soul and southern rock. With last year’s Confederate Buddha and this year’s new six-song EP, he’s meshed (or perhaps mashed, if you consider the southern origins) his influences into a rock-solid brew topped by soul-searing vocals. The title tune opens as a confessional before the downbeat kicks it into Allman Brothers territory for a chase down a stretch of blue highway. The ‘70s vibe continues with the electric piano and guitar of “Fucked Up World,” unloading the fed-up lyric, “I’m tired of living in a fucked up world / I with the man would get his shit together.” Mathus’ Southern roots thread throughout the EP, adding rustic soul to the Chicago blues “Ain’t Feelin’ It” and rolling swampy waves under the garage rock “Haunted John.” At only twenty minutes it’s a short set, but a sweet one.