Next on the 31 Days of Music: Best of 2013 is a record that contains your recommended daily allowance of rock, blues, folk and country. Sitting at Number 4 is Jimbo Mathus & the Tri-State Coalition's White Buffalo.
With a strum of the mandolin, Jimbo Mathus kicks off his latest collection of tunes with the epic “In The Garden”, touching on the ever burning battle between good and evil Mathus’ welcomes listeners to the White Buffalo. This latest record with his Tri State Coalition delivers a diverse batch of songs with enough rock, blues, country and folk to keep everyone enthralled. Loaded with Southern imagery the songs on this record are a testament to Mathus’ writing abilities as he vocalizes about what he knows best.
Like all the albums before this, Mathus refuses to stick to a set template with his song writing. While the songs traverse all over the musical landscape, one thing for sure is they will all be good. White Buffalo takes the listener from song to song introducing 10 individual tunes that stand on their own, but when you listen to them as a whole it becomes one damn fine piece of work. American and roots music are nothing new to Mathus and when you listen to “Tennessee Walker Mare” or “Useless Heart”. The rocking “Fake Hex” would fit nicely in Chuck Berry’s catalog of tunes and “Poor Lost Souls” could pass as classic Appalachia. The brooding “Run Devil Run” takes the album into a darker direction with swampy blues licks and chunky rhythms; this track gets better with each listen. The tune “Hatchie Bottoms” is a testament to what Mathus does best. Heavy on piano, he paints a detailed mental picture about family and life in the South. Full of keyboard and jangly guitars, “(I Wanna Be Your) Satellite” is a demonstration of true Southern soul. The gem of the record is the title track, “White Buffalo”. An all out auditory assault, this psychedelic gem is some of the heaviest music to come from Mr. Mathus. Blistering guitars from Matt Pierce lead the way as Jimbo wails about the White Buffalo, “he ain’t dead, but he’s layin’ mighty low”.
This latest addition to the vast Jimbo Mathus musical library may be his finest. While his lyrical output continues to amaze, his band the Tri State Coalition is what takes this record to the next level. Pierce’s guitar playing is rivaled by few; Eric Carlton provides the soul on keyboards and the occasional accordion, while the rhythms of Ryan Rogers (drums) and Terrance Bishop (bass) are the backbone. Mathus has assembled a band that effortlessly swings through multiple musical styles. It is as if they know what he is thinking and then take the music there before Jimbo can tell them to do so. Their cohesiveness is a rare thing. Yes I know 2013 has just begun, but White Buffalo should find its way onto many “Best Of” lists at the end of the year. I highly recommend adding this record to your music collection.
31 Days of Music: Best of 2013
31 - Futurebirds - Baba Yaga
30 - Mike Snowden - One Man Cigar Box Guitar Band Live
29 - Teen Getaway - Hits and Missives
28 - Barrence Whitfield & the Savages - Dig Thy Savage Soul
27 - Robert Pollard - Honey Locust Honky Tonk
26 - Camper Van Beethoven - La Costa Perdida
25 - Je Suis France - Coleslaw III Drymouth
24 - Dorado - Anger, Hunger, Love and the Fear of Death
23 - Ezra Furman - Day of the Dog
22 - Hymn For Her - Lucy & Wayne's Smokin' Hot Flames
21 - Patrick Sweany - Close To The Floor
20 - Tedo Stone - Good Go Bad
19 - Chandler Travis Three-O - This Is What Bears Look Like Under Water
18 - Devon Allman - Turquoise
17 - Kick The Robot - Music To Fight The Future
16 - Sebadoh - Defend Yourself
15 - Escondido - The Ghost of Escondido
14 - Doc Feldman & the LD50 - Sundowning at the Station
13 - Porter & the Pollies - Self Titled EP
12 - Drivin' n' Cryin' - Songs From The Psychedelic Time Clock
11 - Deathfix - Self-Titled
10 - Chris Stamey - Lovesick Blues
09 - Have Gun, Will Travel - Fact, Fiction or Folklore
08 - T. Hardy Morris - Audition Tapes
07 - Great Peacock - Self-titled EP
06 - Superchunk - I Hate Music
05 - David Bowie - The Next Day
04 - Jimbo Mathus & the Tri-State Coalition - White Buffalo