New Albany’s The Basement event venue hosted Mississippi native Jimbo Mathus on the evening of March 19th. Mathus performed for a crowd of supporters, many of whom have followed his career through many twists and turns.
Jimbo Mathus was born in Oxford, Mississippi, into a musical family versed in folk, bluegrass and country blues. Mathus was first recorded at the Sam Phillips studios in Memphis during his rock and roll, punk rock/experimental career stages.
Mathus left home at 17, studied philosophy at Mississippi State, worked the Mississippi, Illinois and Tennessee rivers as a deckhand and tankerman for a barge company, and basically educated himself via the libraries of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. When he turned to music, he brought to it his largely self-taught knowledge of Latin, theater, poetry, literature and music.
He first came on the national scene in 1993 with The Squirrel Nut Zippers, a swing revival group that garnered gold and platinum records as well as appearances at a number of prestigious ceremonies and events including A Prairie Home Companion, the second inauguration of Bill Clinton, the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta and a number of late night television shows including Conan, Letterman and Leno.
Through the mid-to late 2000s, Mathus performed hundreds of shows in the deep South, mostly in Mississippi. He became a regular and favorite performer at Morgan Freeman’s Ground Zero Blues Club in Clarksdale, Mississippi, where he started his first studio. Mathus moved the studio to Como, Mississippi in 2007.
Mathus has released about a dozen albums in a variety of genres since 1997. In 2015 Mathus released Blue Healer, which he describes as “pretty hard-hitting” southern rock with elements of psychedelia.
The Basement event venue is centered upon bringing live performances to the downtown New Albany area.
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