Jimbo Mathus – Blue Light (2012)

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Perhaps best known as the leader of the now-defunct band Squirrel Nut Zippers, Jimbo Mathus is returns with a raw, ambitious six-song EP. Moving from stomping Southern rock (“Blue Light”) to dirt-road garage rock (“Haunted John”) to Stones-y white blues (“Fucked Up World”), then back again to a gospel-soaked country ballad (“Burn the Honky Tonk”), Mathus couldn’t be moving any further afield from his old band — which played something that might best be described as ragtime on steroids. Actually, though, Mathus has since been involved with a pair of Buddy Guy projects (Sweet Tea, and Blues Singer), the North Mississippi Allstars (Electric Blue Watermelon) and Luther Dickinson and the Sons of Mudboy (Onward and Upward). So, in a way, everything has been leading up to Mathus’ recent breakthroughs in Southern musical alchemy — a run of thrilling retro-roots triumphs that also includes 2011’s Confederate Buddha.Nick DeRiso

‘Half Notes’ are quick-take thoughts on music from Something Else! Reviews, presented whenever the mood strikes us.

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Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso

Nick DeRiso has written for USA Today, American Songwriter, All About Jazz, and a host of others. Honored as columnist of the year five times by the Associated Press, Louisiana Press Association and Louisiana Sports Writers Association, he oversaw a daily section named Top 10 in the U.S. by the AP before co-founding Something Else! Nick is now associate editor of Ultimate Classic Rock.
Nick DeRiso
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