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I started a quest to find terrific blues music and incredible musicianship when I was just a little kid. I also have a tremendous appreciation of fine musical instruments and equipment. One of my greatest joys all of my life was sharing my finds with my friends. I'm now publishing my journey. I hope that you come along!

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Monday, February 17, 2014

Fat Possum Records artist: Jimbo Mathus & The Tri-State Coalition - Dark Night Of The Soul - New Release Review

I just received the newest release (February 18, 2014), Dark Night Of The Soul, from Jimbo Mathus & The Tri-State Coalition and it's really great! I believe that I have every post "Zippers" release from Mathus and every one is different. This one has a common thread with earlier releases, mostly quality and honesty and of course musical integrity. Opening with title track, Dark Night Of The Soul, a very loose rocker with almost Bruce Springsteen like vocals, Mathus creates a sonic wonderland with driving rock sounds. White Angel has a strong R&B influence with a country twist. So many flavors of music cross my mind as I listen to this including Traffic, The Beatles, Badu and Jimi Hendrix. If Mathus has a rock radio breakthrough track coming soon, this may be it. Rock and Roll Trash is a great track with an almost Detroit rock sound featuring young Ziggy Stardust. Excellent! Shine Like A Diamond has a much more easy pop/ballad style with Elvis Costello and Van Morrison attributes. Matt Pierce (tele), Ryan Rogers (drums), Eric Carlton (keys), Roscoe Ambel (guitar), Matt Patton (bass) Kell Kellum (pedal steel), Jimbo Mathus (guitars and vocals) and Gio and Sunny Stuckey (harmony vocals) all add substantially to the texture of this release. Writing Spider again has a number of flavors with nods to New Riders and the Richards/Jagger. This poetic track with the hypnotic melody is nicely complimented with a cool story. Tallahatchie opens with a really seductive acoustic guitar intro that just smells like wide open mountain air. Growing into a gospel infused country anthem, this track has a cool hook... you supply the campfire and the beer. Burn The Ships is absolutely one of my favorite tracks on the release. This track absolutely rips, sounding like Jimbo joined ranks with Frank Black and the Catholics. Mathus really gets the gang rockin on this track and it should definitely find him additional audience. Following this track would be a real bitch but Mathus has it down with a hot funky track, Fire in The Canebreak. With a serious rant and sense of humor Mathus and gang makes you wonder if where he is getting his intervention. This excellent blend of Feat like rhythm and spacial swirling guitar riffs is outrageous. Hawkeye Jordan, a real smokin modern "real country" track with great pedal steel work is perfect for Mathus and his vocal. The backing vocals add just the right amount of authenticity and this track blends you right down the middle of Jimbo avenue. Another excellent track! Casey Caught The Cannonball, has a cool back beat mostly drums and piano, with beefy vocals by Mathus. A colorful painter with words, Mathus tells the story and Kellum greases it up with his steel guitar. Another Van Morrison like melody lies under this track but it is all Mathus! Medicine, a Neil Young like track, is a powerful with strong lyrics and real heartfelt music. Wrappin the release is Butcher Bird, has a primitive musical styling which focuses your attention directly to the vocals. Mathus has crafted some incredible releases but this may be his best. It's certainly going onto my best of 2014 without pause.

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