Born: August 31, 1967, Oxford, Mississippi
Photo credit: Francoise Digel – email@example.com
Jimbo Mathus’ early life was filled with music, as his father and relatives were skilled instrumentalists and singers. By age 8 he was proficient at mandolin and at 15, Jimbo had been taught the rudiments of guitar, piano and harmony singing. At age 17 he began writing songs and performing in the area. In 1987, Mathus joined the Merchant Marines working as a deckhand and tanker man. Upon a chance trip to North Carolina, he decided to move to the Chapel Hill area and began his music career in earnest. In 1993, Mathus, along with Katherine Whalen formed the Squirrel Nut Zippers. The group toured extensively throughout the 1990s, appearing at many prestigious events, including Prairie Home Companion, the Second inauguration of Bill Clinton, and the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta. They also performed on many on major television programs. Their albums were awarded gold and platinum records by the Recording Industry Association of America. In the mid-1990s he met Jim and Luther Dickinson, which resulted in Mathus writing and recording Play Songs for Rodetta. During this time, Mathus also began recording and producing on his own. Simultaneously, he was gaining recognition for his blues guitar knowledge through his work with blues legend Buddy Guy, with whom he toured in 2001- 2003. He also recorded with Guy on his albums Sweet Tea, and Blues Singer. In 2003, Mathus set up Delta Recording Service in downtown Clarksdale and recorded hundreds of artists there, including Elvis Costello. In 2007, he relocated the studio to Como, Mississippi. Through the mid- to late 2000s, Mathus performed hundreds of shows in the Deep South, mostly in Mississippi. He also helped form the South Memphis String Band with Luther Dickinson and Alvin Youngblood Hart. His current band, The Tri-State Coalition, released their album “Confederate Buddha” on Memphis International Records in May 2011. In 2012, Tri-State recorded the album “White Buffalo” at Delta Recording Services. Mathus later dismantled and closed the studio. Mathus released a solo vinyl EP entitled “Blue Light” in 2012.