Jimbo Mathus & the Tri-State Coalition White Buffalo

Jimbo Mathus & the Tri-State Coalition White Buffalo
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Mathus is still best known as co-founder of '90s swing revivalists Squirrel Nut Zippers, but since that band's demise, the singer/guitarist has re-established himself in his native Mississippi, and White Buffalo marks his first release on that state's premier label, Fat Possum. Although Mathus has earned acclaim for his ventures into the blues scene, White Buffalo (produced by former Del-Lord and Steve Earle guitarist Eric "Roscoe" Ambel) is a ragged, Southern rock affair, with ten songs clocking in at just over 30 minutes. Mathus's blending of blues and country comes off more like a shotgun wedding, adding much to the album's vibrancy. Traces of the Allman Brothers and the Faces are evident throughout, but Mathus's larger-than-life personality is the album's heart. "Poor Lost Souls" is a vivid glimpse of his former life in L.A., while "Hatchie Bottoms" is a loving portrait of Mississippi. However, White Buffalo catches fire when Mathus and his band turn themselves loose on the hard-driving title track, and that energy carries through to bittersweet closer "Useless Heart." Fans of the Drive-By Truckers will want to check this one out. (Fat Possum)