Friday To-Do: Jimbo Mathus | Rock Candy

Friday To-Do: Jimbo Mathus

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JIMBO MATHUS
10 p.m., White Water Tavern. $10.

Clarksdale-born Jimbo Mathus doesn't do genres. “I break down walls and stereotypes with my music,” he's said, more accurately than boastfully. “I confuse people. I use Mississippi music, which is renegade music at heart, as my inspiration and motivation…I keep the old stories alive while they help keep me alive.” Luther Dickinson, of the North Mississippi Allstars and the Black Crowes, may've captured Mathus even better when he described him as a link in “the ‘crazy Mississippi white-boy' chain of music that goes all the way back through Elvis Presley to Jimmie Rogers … white musicians playing black music and influencing people in both cultures.” It's not the position in which most probably remember him. In the early '90s, he rose to fame leading the swing-revival act Squirrel Nut Zippers. After a five-year hiatus, that band reunited in 2007 and continues to tour sporadically. But since the early 2000s, Mathus has been busy with his own projects. He's toured with Pine Bluff's CeDell Davis, served as musical director for Buddy Guy, recorded Elvis Costello in his Delta Recording Service studio in Clarksdale and released a host of records, moving easily between swamp rock, country and the acoustic blues. His latest, “Jimmy the Kid,” straddles all those genres.

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