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In knockout blues


Jimbo Mathus is through zipping squirrels. The ex-Zipper frontman says there's no chance the band will ever get back together. "I enjoyed it. I don't mean to short-change it--it's given me a lot of benefits, and we did some good music," he says. "We really entertained a lot of people. But it's a thing that's come and gone." These days, Mathus heads up the Knockdown Society: Stu Cole on bass, Nate Stalfa on drums, and ex-Mumblefish Dave Spencer--who's been putting out records around Chapel Hill for about 10 years on rhythm guitar.The Knockdown Society is based more on Mathus' roots than any other project he has been involved in. "I just do music that's based out of Mississippi," the guitarist says. "That's my home state, that's where I was born and raised, and the farther I got along in the music business, the more I just really wanted to do what I knew best." Mathus describes the Knockdown Society's music as an electric juke joint blues sound that pulls on all the pool of Mississippi music from blues and country music. Charley Patton is one of Mathus' role models, as is the eccentric and dangerous T Model Ford.

Mathus and the Knockdown's Society sound is heavy, electric and loud, as much rock as blues in the tradition of the North Mississippi Allstars, who guested on his album National Antiseptic with father and producer Jim Dickenson.

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