Jimbo Mathus & Andrew Bird - These 13
Critic Score
Based on 10 reviews
2021 Ratings: #299 / 579
User Score
Based on 33 ratings
March 5, 2021 / Release Date
LP / Format
Wegawam Music Co. & Southern Broadcast / Label
Country, Folk / Genres
Jimbo Mathus, Andrew Bird / Primary Artists
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Spectrum Culture

The first proper LP from this duo of longtime collaborators is nothing short of mesmerizing. It will rattle you.


The vocals are spot-on and so is the musicianship — lots of virtuoso violin; you'll have to wait until the end for the whistle - but it also has the warm, first-take feel of two old friends having a fine old time.


These 13 has little to do with Mathus and Bird recalling past glories, and much more to do with the beauty and mysteries of the music of the American South.


Throughout These 13, Bird and Mathus sing and play together as if they’ve been doing it routinely over the past two decades, instead of not at all.


On their first sustained collaboration since the Squirrel Nut Zippers disbanded, Bird and Mathus draw from a range of old styles, primarily gospel, with the ease of old friends getting together for coffee.

FLOOD Magazine

Both Bird and Mathus have made music that breathes new life into roots-music clichés, where here they mostly seem content to inhabit those clichés, revealing the simple pleasures they have to offer.

American Songwriter

With These 13, Mathus and Bird effectively put their own imprint on music of a vintage variety, reimagining an old-time sound from their own personal perspective.


There's something distinctively old-fashioned about the sound of a guitar and fiddle with two human voices bellowing about honky-tonks, witches, the Civil War events, and such. Mathus and Bird's songs sound like they could have been recorded more than 100 years ago or just yesterday.

Jimbo Mathus and Andrew Bird have both had long, prolific and acclaimed careers getting started in the late 80's and early 90's respectively. They first worked together in the 90's when Bird featured on 3 Squirrel Nut Zippers records, adding his violin to the Swing-revival project's second and third albums as well as an EP. However this new LP is far more reminiscent of the solo works that these 2 would go onto after SNZ's initial hiatus in 2000. Mathus earned solo recognition for his Blues and ... read more
Jimbo Mathus & Andrew Bird - These 13

Genre: Country
Country: US

Final Verdict: 59% (Pleasant Album)
Yearly Ranking: 154th / 292

Highlight: Encircle My Love

Made me think of:
Hank Williams
Townes Van Zandt
The Tallest Man On Earth
Mount Eerie
Andrew Bird and Jimbo Mathus, former collaborators and bandmates, team up for their first duo LP on "These 13".

One that starts and ends really strong, with a bit of a dull middle, but a good collection of country folk songs that all feel like they are being hovered over by an endless series of dark and dust-ridden clouds. In a way, it feels like an end-of-times celebration of death awaiting both Mathus and Bird.

I really think these two compliment each other well on the vocal ... read more
Decent chilled out country music. pretty mediocre, forgettable, and derivative, nothing really stands out.
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Track List

  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
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Added on: January 14, 2021