[8 August 2012]
Ever since leaving the Squirrel Nut Zippers, Jimbo Mathus has created quite a unique solo career for himself. Over the last decade, he’s explored various shades of Deep South blues, soul, country, string band music, and a bunch of other stuff thrown in for flavor. As enjoyable as many of Mathus’s records have been, the whole thing really seemed to come together on last year’s Confederate Buddha, where a lot of his musical fascinations were allowed to truly blend together. The six-song, 20-minute Blue Light is a bit of icing on the cake, feeling like Buddha‘s lost bonus disc. In fact, it might be even better, with just a dollop more soul. Songs like the title track, “Shackles and Chains”, and “Ain’t Feelin’ It” have the deep-in-the-pocket vibe of CCR touring Muscle Shoals or the Stax Museum. “Haunted John” sounds like the Velvet Underground broke down on a back country road. Jimbo Mathus is firing on all cylinders right now, and making some of the best music of his career.