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Dark Night Of The Soul

Jimbo Malthus & The Tri-State Coalition

Fat Possum 2013

Review by David Bowling

Jimbo Mathus has been producing excellent music for several decades yet has somehow not found widespread commercial success. Hopefully his stunning new album, Dark Night Of The Soul, to be released in early 2014, will rectify that situation.

Mathus began his career as a member of Johnny Vomit & The Dry Heaves before moving on to the Squirrel Nut Zippers. They were a band that fused jazz, blues, and swing into an energetic mix. They were a constant on the Indy circuit, 1993-2000, and have been playing off and on since 2006.

Mathus is about to release his 9th album. He spent a year haunting various studios and recorded close to 40 tracks with his backing band The Tri-State Coalition. Many of the songs were recorded virtually live with little overdubbing.

His sound as a solo artist has continued to evolve. He has settled in to what can best be described as a rock/Americana sound.

The title track sets the tone for what will follow. It starts off as a sparse track before the rock foundation joins the mix. The lyrics add a depth to the song. It all adds up to one of the better performances of the year. Add in such tunes as “White Angel,” “Rock & Roll Trash,” “Shine Like A Diamond.” and “Tire In The Canebreak” and you have a superior release.  He also avoids the trap of many musicians by producing songs that are unique in their own right.

All of Jimbo Mathus’ experience comes to fruition on Dark Night of The Soul. It is an excellent album from a musician, who has paid his dues and it takes its place as one of the better independent releases of the year.

Rating ****

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