Former Squirrel Nut Zippers collaborators, Jimbo Mathus and Andrew Bird, reunite again for These 13--a deep dive into essential southern folk and gospel. These 13 is the first full-length work the two have worked on since 2000's Bedlam Ballroom, and it acts as an immediate reentry into their friendship. The two met in 1994, at a music festival in Black Mountain, North Carolina.
The makers of These 13 met at a pivotal moment in their lives. Back in 1994, Jimbo Mathus' band the Squirrel Nut Zippers were just starting to put their stamp on a host of pre-rock musical styles, from jazz and swing to klezmer. They ran into Andrew Bird at the Black Mountain Music Festival, where he was playing fiddle, and eventually invited him to play on 1996's Hot, which went multi-platinum off the unlikely popularity of the single "Hell," a song that describes eternal damnation in gruesome detail.