Like recognizing spring is on the horizon, Americana Highways is honored to be the harbinger of news of Jimbo Mathus’ upcoming album Incinerator, due to be released April 5th on Big Legal Mess/Fat Possum. We are pleased to present the opportunity to listen to this premiere of “Sunken Road,” featuring Lilly Hiatt, from the album.
Bronson Tew and Drive-By Truckers’ bassist Matt Patton, who co-own Dial Back Sound, produced Incinerator and back Mathus on it musically. Setting aside his guitar for this record, Mathus plays piano and sings. Violin is contributed by Andrew Bird, and electric guitar is courtesy of Kevin Russell (Shinyribs, the Gourds).
Mathus shows off his restraint and appreciation for space and timing, singing over sparse yet highly select, significant instrumentation on this project. We’ve watched him perform as an animated carnival barker, listened to him as a high energy bluesman, but we get to absorb a radically different side of Mathus here; it’s an honest, soulful, reflective side.
Mathus says of Incinerator that this project is “who he is.” That’s a profound vulnerable declaration, and you can feel it in the song “Sunken Road”: “It’s a long road to travel, I can’t do it alone.” Hiatt’s vocals soar and entwine with his on the second verse in a lovely, thoughtful piece. This deeply moving song bodes oh so very well for the forthcoming release.
What we call Sunken Road down in Yoconapatawpha, Miss. started out as Choctaw Indian trails. centuries of feet, hooves, wagons and finally machine wheels impressed deep, high banked pathways through the woods. many became paved roads over time, but many remain as leaf and litter filled testaments, criss-crossing the landscape, primordial roads that lead nowhere. What is man without woman? Lilly Hiatt of Nashville adds a superb counter vocal in this ode to ancient dead ends.” —Jimbo Mathus
Tew and Patton will be touring with Mathus this spring. Clear your calendars while you’re listening: