Mathus, Jimbo & The Tri-state Coalition
Dark Night Of The SoulFat Possum
***This musical DNA has been in JIMBO MATHUS since birth. His father and relatives were all skilled musicians who filled the house with old folk, country and blues tunes. By the age of eight, Mathus was joining them on mandolin and by his teenage years had learned guitar and piano. High school led to playing in punk and new wave bands, the most notable being JOHNNY VOMIT AND THE DRY HEAVES and THE END with future Oblivian Jack Yarber. Post high school, Mathus studied Philosophy at Mississippi State University before leaving to travel around
America. In doing so he worked various jobs, including an influential stint as a barge tankerman on the mighty Mississippi River. Settling in Chapel Hill, N.C., he drummed in the cult rock band METAL FLAKE MOTHER prior to starting the SQUIRREL NUT ZIPPERS. This ahead-of-its-time retro roots band scored a hit with “Hot” and performed at President Clinton’s second Inauguration and the 1996 Summer Olympics. Following the Zippers’ split, Mathus worked with such noted artists such as Buddy Guy and Elvis Costello, and collaborated with North Mississippi Allstars guitarist Luther Dickinson and Alvin Youngblood Hart in the South Memphis String Band. He also recorded his own albums (including one dedicated to his childhood nanny Rosetta Patton, the daughter of Delta blues icon Charley Patton).
On most of Dark Night’s tracks, Mathus’ acoustic guitar is surrounded by the electric guitar played by his longtime sideman MATT PIERCE and pal ERIC “ROSCOE” AMBEL. The album’s raw, rock sound arose from the fact that most of the tracks were recorded live in the studio with Mathus’ band, the TRI-STATE COALITION, which he found “very liberating way of doing it.” Mathus feels very in synch with his bandmates since they have played together now for several years. “The intensity you’re hearing on this album,” he proclaims, “is the spirit of a band that is putting its shit on the line.”