Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Big Legal Mess Recoords artist: Jimbo Mathus - Incinerator - New Release Review

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Incinerator, from Jimbo Mathus and it's really good. if you've been reading my reviews and commentary for a while, you know that I really like the work of Mathus. His output varies from deep blues (Buddy Guy) and 30's jazz (Squirrel Nut Zippers) to Mississippi hill country music and flat out rock (and many things in between). I wasn't sure what to expect from Mathus on this outing after his multi year hiatus touring with the SNZ but it is seems to be an unsorted mixture of everything he's been working on for the past few years. Opening with You Are Like A Song, a cool natural country song featuring Mathus on piano and lead vocal, backed by Matt Patton on bass and Bronson Tew on guitar this track is an instant radio track. The melody will stick in your head and Patton and Tew's backing vocals are all country. Very nice. One of my favorite tracks on the release, Really Hurt Someone is a strong soul track with Mathus showing his emotion. Steve Butler on fiddle, paired with Mathus' own piano creates a great feel. Excellent! With a traditional waltz tempo and Mathus' wry styling, South of Laredo has a real nice old style country western feel. Mathus vocals, never pretty, are perfect for a track like this and the female vocals on this track are a great compliment. If you've been following Mathus' solo career for a while, you know he always has tracks that stand out and you don't know what they mean, but you really like them. Alligator Fish is one of them with it's raw hill country like vibe, James Brown boogaloo rhythm and distorted guitar railing by Bronson over Mathus' voodoo like chanting. Excellent! Another trait of Mathus' solo releases are simple traditional story telling songs with candid vocal discussion like David Bromberg or Porter Wagoner (among others). Jack Told The Devil is one such track and I really like it. Featuring some up front piano work by Mathus and Bobby Isbell on dobro, this is a great track. Another of my favorite tracks on the release is ballad, Sunken Road, a lovely composition reminiscent of Butcher Bird from Dark Night of the Soul and featured on TV's Ray Donovan. Lilly Hiatt sings along with Mathus on this track and adds nicely. Wrapping the release is Carter family's Give me The Roses in conventional country simple style. Mathus embraces these simple country roots and with nicely blended additional voices, fiddle (Butler), banjo (Ernie Welsh) and dobro (Isbell) an excellent closer for another really nice release from Mathus.

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