Jimbo Mathus - Confederate Buddha (Music CD)

Release Date: 15 July 2016
Artist: Jimbo Mathus
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Jim Mathus enjoyed a brief fling with fame in the 1990s as the founder of retro-jazz combo the Squirrel Nut Zippers, but fronting a new band, the Tri-State Coalition, Mathus (who has rechristened himself Jimbo) is striking out in a new direction; or more accurately, several directions at once. On his solo debut, Confederate Buddha, Mathus lets loose with some boogie-friendly Southern rock ("Jimmy the Kid"), straight-up country twang ("Town with No Shame"), funky Dixie-fried shuffles ("Kine Joe"), deep blues grooves ("Leash My Pony"), murder ballads ("Aces and Eights"), and swampy pop/rock story songs ("Walks Beside"), with Mathus' rich, passionate vocals and a decisively Southern outlook tying together the various stylistic elements. Mathus is content to jump from genre to genre on these sessions, and he sounds enthusiastic and very much at home on every track, while he's put together a band that's capable of just as much creative shape-shifting as he is, with guitarist Matt "Pizzle" Pierce, drummer Austin Marshall, and Eric "Carlos" Carlton on keyboards earning especially high marks on these sessions. Mathus sings well and fronts a fine band on Confederate Buddha, but his songwriting isn't quite as impressive; he can stitch together a nice melody, but they don't tend to stick in the ear, and there's a fine line between embracing a traditional archetype and sinking into clichés, and while the latter would be a bit too harsh a judgment for these songs, it's closer to the truth than the former. Confederate Buddha offers clear evidence that Mathus has a genuine feel for Southern music of all stripes, and knows how to bring it to life, but collaborating with a stronger songwriter might be a good idea before he begins work on his next album. ~ Mark Deming

More Detail

  • 1. Jimmy the Kid
  • 2. Cling to the Roots
  • 3. Wheel Upon Wheel
  • 4. Town with No Shame
  • 5. Leash My Pony
  • 6. Walks Beside
  • 7. Glad It's Dark
  • 8. Aces & Eights
  • 9. Too Much Water
  • 10. Kine Joe
  • 11. Shady Dealing
  • 12. Days of High Cotton
Release Date: 15 July 2016
Artist: Jimbo Mathus
SKU: MIR2023