Breakthrough 2014 Album featuring Jimbo Mathus & John Paul Keith Available on Vinyl for the First Time!
The South has a legacy of great, iconoclastic storytellers – artists with a kudzu-shaded vision that cuts straight to the core of the human soul. Arkansas native Jim Mize's breakthrough 2014 album, simply called Jim Mize, staked his claim among them. As its nine songs reveal, Mize is a primal rock 'n' roll visionary who colors his music with hues borrowed from blues and garage psychedelia, and writes with a stark brevity that punctuates every heartbeat of the characters who draw the attention of his pen: car parkers and bar tenders, boozehounds and love-drunk couples, the longing and the satisfied, the faithful and the lost.
Songs like "Drunk Moon Falling," culled from an overheard conversation at an Austin restaurant, and the gorgeously textured "Eminence, Kentucky" reflect the same dirt-road view of life limned with traces of the surreal that permeate the writings of such masterful Southern novelists as Larry Brown and Barry Hannah, both of whom hail from Oxford, Mississippi. Mize has spent most of his 57 years wandering among such characters. As an insurance adjuster traveling the South and West for more than 30 years, he's seen people at their most resilient and at their most vulnerable.
But despite all of the harsh reality Mize has experienced, he's still an incurable romantic. "Rabbit Hole," which kick-starts the album with Mize's hypnotic, staccato guitar, is about falling helplessly into the vortex of love. And "This Moment With You" captures the ignition point of blissful, all-consuming infatuation. The emotional flip side is the bare-knuckled "Bleed," in which a couple slices each other's hearts with intractably venomous words.
Mize is joined by two fellow maverick Southern songwriter-guitarists on his third album: dusty blues modernist Jimbo Mathus (formerly of Squirrel Nut Zippers) and burgeoning American root-pop alchemist from Memphis John Paul Keith, who take turns as instrumental foil to Mize's raw-but-inventive riffing and expressionistic solos. Jim Mize captures its namesake at the apex of his art and follows 2000's No Tell Motel and 2007's Release It to the Sky.