Jimbo Mathus & Andrew Bird – 13 of the Best

Collaboration ‘These 13’ Coming

Jimbo Mathus & Andrew Bird

New Album ‘These 13’

Out March 15, 2020

Jimbo Mathus and Andrew Bird have come together again to announce a brand new album These 13, out March 5 on Thirty Tigers.

As former collaborators in Squirrel Nut Zippers, Mathus and Bird’s friendship dates back twenty-five years but, at the turn of the century, their career paths diverged. Both became highly accomplished, acclaimed, and prolific solo artists and, though they remained close friends, they did not return to musical collaboration until 2018, when they started exchanging the fragments that grew into this set of thirteen songs. 
Mathus and Bird co-wrote all of These 13, sharing voice memos, finishing each other’s musical thoughts. Produced by Mike Viola, the first half of the album was recorded in early 2019 and the second half was finished in early 2020. Every song was recorded live to analog tape, with Mathus and Bird singing and playing on opposite sides of a lone RCA 44 microphone.


On reconnecting with Jimbo for These 13, Bird says: “Up until meeting Jimbo, all my musical heroes were dead. Jimbo was anything but and just oozed musicality of a kind I thought was extinct. Had I not met Jimbo, who knows, but I think my music would have gone on a much more cerebral, complex trajectory. He is an enigma, a walking contradiction: wild yet refined, worldly yet colloquial. He represents his own branch of the American musical tree. It’s been my dream for years now to make this record with Jimbo. Just guitar, fiddle, and our very different voices. I wanted to make sure you can really hear him as if for the first time.”

On the roots of his relationship with Bird, Mathus adds: “Musically speaking, Andrew challenged me early on. As I had the deep south rural musical upbringing but had yearned to know more of the Chicago and New York scenes of those early days of American popular music. Bird had schooled himself on that, absorbing the European strains of American music and theater, as well as the Chicago-based indigenous albeit transplanted African American musical heritage. It was a true mutual benefit society and we both pursued those goals to a final conclusion. At some point after Andrew had been on the road as ‘Bowl of Fire,’ he began mutating his music and creating an entirely new form. In other words, he started to become the artist he needed to be at that time and so did I.”

About Andrew Bird

Andrew Bird is an internationally acclaimed musician, songwriter and composer who has released sixteen records to date. Recording and touring extensively, Bird has performed around the world at festivals and renowned institutions including Carnegie Hall, Sydney Opera House and Walt Disney Concert Hall. A TED Talks presenter, a New Yorker Festival guest, and an op-ed contributor for the New York Times, Bird also made his professional acting debut in the cast of Fargo’s fourth installment, which premiered on FX in the fall of 2020. Bird’s 2019 album, My Finest Work Yet, was nominated for Best Folk Album at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards.

About Jimbo Mathus

Jimbo Mathus is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist, best known for his work with the Gold and Platinum-certified swing revival band, Squirrel Nut Zippers. The group toured extensively throughout the 1990s, including performances for the second inauguration of Bill Clinton, the 1996 Summer Olympics, The Tonight Show, Late Night with David Letterman, Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve and more. Since the early 2000s, Mathus’ career has included work for Buddy Guy and Elvis Costello, and a vast collection of solo projects that have led to his music being heard on House of CardsShamelessRay Donovan and far beyond.


1. Poor Lost Souls
2. Sweet Oblivion
3. Encircle My Love
4. Beat Still My Heart
5. Red Velvet Rope
6. High John
7. Stonewall (1863)
8. Bright Sunny South
9. Bell Witch
10. Dig Up the Hatchet
11. Jack O’ Diamonds
12. Burn the Honky Tonk
13. Three White Horses and a Golden Chain






Collaboration ‘These 13’ Coming

Collaboration ‘These 13’ Coming

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Author: Rob Dickens

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  1. Ripper Rob, love Jimbo and I’ve been fortunate to see him perform on visits to New Orleans. The tracks I’ve heard have grabbed me and the album should be on its way to Colac once released.

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    • Well Colin- you’re a step ahead of me re seeing him live. Love the vibe of his recorded material. Very keen to hear the finished product of the collaboration with Andrew. Hope you are well.

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