Ever since he helped form the Squirrel Nut Zippers back in the early '90s, multi-instrumentalist Jimbo Mathus has made a habit of tapping into one eclectic style after another, inspired by archival genres that rarely turn up on today's musical radar. Just as the Squirrels mimicked the vintage juke-joint jazz and big-band swing styles of the '20s and '30s, Mathus' solo route has found him taking an earnest blues cruise through equally expansive terrain. From his hollow-eyed gothic perspective to the ragged swagger of his native Mississippi swamplands to the relentless riffing that pierces his down-home boogie, Mathus pays homage to the blues by going back to the basics. Then again, for a man whose nametag has variously identified him as Jim, Jimbo, Jas, and James, any shift in stance should hardly seem surprising. Backed by his equally astute band, Knockdown South, Mathus will demonstrate how rural roots give rise to such fertile fields.
Jimbo Mathus and Knockdown South perform at 9:30 p.m. Friday, December 15, at the Bamboo Room, 25 S. J St., Lake Worth. Tickets cost $16. Call 561-585-2583, or visit www.bambooroomblues.com.