April 19, 2005
Hailing from Clarksdale, Mississippi—the cradle of the blues—Jimbo Mathus puts a crazed, psychedelic spin on everything he plays, whether it’s trippy modal boogie, laid-back funk, juke joint blues, bayou R&B, or rowdy country. The word is out: Want mojo? Talk to Jimbo. Buddy Guy hired him to play second guitar on the beautifully broken Sweet Tea and Grammy-winning Blues Singer, and Elvis Costello and his crew recently trekked to Clarksdale to record in Mathus’ studio (the session yielded the Grammy-nominated hit “Monkey to Man”). On Knockdown South, Mathus cuts loose with raw lead and soulful slide tones that pay homage to Hound Dog Taylor, Albert Collins, and John Lee Hooker without being derivative. If you like it rough and ready, you’ll dig Mathus and his swampy band.