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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, March 28, 2016

Big Legal Mess artist: Jimbo Mathus - Band Of Storms - New release review

I just received the newest release, Band of Storms (May 6, 2016), from Jimbo Mathus and it's off the hook. If you read my site regularly you know that Mathus is one of my favorite writers/performers but that doesn't mean that he gets a pass. He has big boots to fill after turning out Jimmy The Kid a few years back. JTK is a release that all Mathus releases will be unfairly judged by, unfairly in that it is one of my favorite all time recordings. Mathus never fails to please and this release is no exception. If you ever put one of Jimbo's releases and you don't like it, and you like "real" music, not just canned music, set it aside and listen to it again in a few weeks. This stuff is the real deal and I can't say enough how good this stuff is! Opening with Gringo Man, Mathus cranks up a rockin country blues with a fat horn section filling in the back. Jimbo has such a casual delivery that literally sucks you right into the music. His vocals are fun and friendly and his guitar riffs are free wheelin and wild. Excellent! Can't Get Much Higher has a New Orleans feel with rolling piano and sweet, sassy sax work. Jimbo knows how to milk the juice out of a track in a way that to me was previously exclusive to Elvin Bishop. Excellent! On a Johnny Cash bent original, Let's Play With Fire, Mathus plays up that early country rock fusion that made Cash successful and does it well. This track is all Mathus in heart, co written with Robert Earl Reed but with a Cash style. Dramatic ballad, Stop Your Crying, has a really cool melody and Mathus' trademark western sound. This is one of my favorite tracks on the release with searing steel guitar over the backing. Very cool! Massive Confusion has that great Ramones, garage styling and we all know Mathus knows how to play that punky garage raw rock. Lofi guitar work and solid drumming give Jimbo the floor for his vocal serenade. Excellent! Wayward Wind has the simplicity of an old country folk tune. A sweet steel guitar solo and Jimbo perfectly clocked "Looka Here" gives this track just the right feel. Yes it can all be excellent! Opening with a dobro slide, Slow Down Sun, keeps it simple and pure. This is one of those tracks that bridges folk and blues with a really nice melody. It's trademark Jimbo and has a quiet elegance. I had an advance copy of this release a few weeks ago and had listened to it a few times while i worked. Last weekend a tune popped in my ear and I kept hearing it over and over. I could not for the life of me nail what it was. Then it popped. It's off of Jimbo's new release. Keep It Together is a very simple little track with simple accompaniment but a beautiful melody. With rudimentary drums, acoustic guitar and eloquent electric overlays, this track will be your earworm.. just listen! Wrapping the release is Catahoula, a great country reel with light mandolin and Jimbo hootin and hollerin. This is a great track and really caps a terrific release. I love every track on this release after only a few listens and I rarely ever say that about anything. Absolutely terrific!

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