Jim Lauderdale is a multi Grammy awarad winning musician. He has played with some pretty amazing names and with this new album is branching off on his own. The new album called I’m A Song features a who’s who of country music with special guests, musicians, and co-writers. The special guests are; Lee Ann Womack, Patty Loveless, Buddy Miller. Elvis Costello, Robert Hunter, Bobby Bare, Gary Allan, Odie Blackmon, Matt Warren, Jimmy Ritchey, and Mark Irwin all helped co-write a few tunes on this upcoming release. Jim’s band features James Burton, Al Perkins, Kenny Vaughn, Dennis Crouch, Stuart Duncan, and John Oates. I had the opportunity to have an interview with Jim while he has been touring round on this latest album, and it was quite a joy to pick the brain of man who has been playing for four decades, and nearly five.
His latest album seems to bring you on an adventure through his 46 years of playing. Jim got his start through his sister who brought home some Beatles records and the like, and it was then that he got inspired to sing. The songs are country to the core. The songwriting is honest and simple. Unlike today’s brand where you expect there to be all this machismo Jim Lauderdale tells the story of a man doing this for a long time. This ain’t his first rodeo. The songs come from and honest place, and with some help from the folks listed above they more or less helped Jim mold the songs.
With this all-star help Jim has enlisted there certainly was no wrong. This is country record to its core, and a good one. It is nice to know that there is still some good country music being made. It harkens back to the days when the lyrics meant something, not just some metaphor for something else. Jim Lauderdale and his band mates whom he has met throughout the years in Nashville came together to make a straight to the bones country record. I cannot say that enough. You can hear the influence from his sister’s Beatles records, from Troutman, North Carolina hearing the psalms at family gatherings, to all the other influences he had growing up as a kid. They are all here on this record.
It’s a wonder what a career like Jim’s has brought him, and to still have things he would like to achieve and when I asked him with 26 albums under your belt and multiple Grammy awards, what haven’t you done yet that you would like to achieve? He said quite simply; “There are a lot of musical things I’d like to do yet like, sing with Merle Haggard, write with Keith Richards, and have Lucinda Williams sing harmony with me (I’ve been on many of her records). There are a lot of dreams.” It’s a wonder that none of those have happened yet, but I can imagine at some point they will. Jim Lauderdale’s new album I’m A Song is out and available for purchase. If it is the country you like this is it. Before Jim and I wrapped the interview I did ask him one last question, why music? His answer was a good one for all musicians, and folks in general. He will be at The Taft Theatre this Saturday, and here was his response “It’s the thing I love to do the most and that I’m best at, and that I’m still trying to improve.” Jim Lauderdale truly is a song.