Inquiring Minds

Jim Mize Falls Down the Rabbit Hole

"Tie me to the chair and lock the door/ Take my shoes and nail 'em to the floor"

Nothing short of an envelope stuffed full of crisp new payola $100 bills moves Lonesome, Onry and Mean like hearing a new recording from an unknown artist that causes insomnia to set in. Right now that album is Jim Mize by, you guessed it, Jim Mize (I could've said eponymous, but that's the most pompous who-cares adjective ever), on Mississippi roots label Big Legal Mess. The label also handles folks like Jimbo Mathus and John Paul Keith, who both just happen to support Mize on this nine-track Southern Springsteen-ish effort.

Mize is the anti-rock-star, a 58-year-old insurance adjuster from Little Rock, Ark., and if you've heard about him at all it's probably via his tune "Let's Go Runnin'," which was on Blue Mountain's 1995 album Dog Days. Mize has two other Big Legal Mess efforts, No Tell Motel (2000) and Release It to the Sky (2007).

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William Michael Smith