Andrew Bird Reunites With Squirrel Nut Zippers' Jimbo Mathus for New Joint Album

Having reunited with his former bandmate to work on 'These 13' together, the folk rocker praises his collaborator for 'representing his own branch of the American musical tree.'

AceShowbiz - Folk rocker Andrew Bird has reunited with his former Squirrel Nut Zippers bandmate for a new joint album.

The singer worked with Jimbo Mathus in the swing and jazz ensemble back in the late 1990s and they reconnected last year, when Bird joined the group on its song "Train on Fire".

Now the two musicians are heading back into the recording studio together to work on a full-length project, titled "These 13", which will be released in March (21). In the meantime, they've given fans a taste of what to expect by sharing their first single, "Sweet Oblivion".

In a statement, Bird heaps praise on Mathus by saying, "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," he adds. "Just guitar, fiddle and our very different voices. I wanted to make sure you can really hear him as if for the first time."

Mathus added, "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," he continued.

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