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Jim Lauderdale’s Alien Creation

We review the new offering from the prolific one – Jim Lauderdale

Jim Lauderdale in Nashville 2019 – Photo: LTTL

By Rob Dickens

I keep a pretty close tally of every show I’ve attended over the years – it can come in very handy, both to remind and recount.

But I admit that I have lost count of the number of times I’ve seen Jim Lauderdale perform. I know the first one – at The Station Inn in Nashville in 2009. Since then I’ve caught him on two cruises, hosting five Americana Honors and Awards nights, compere of Music City Roots and co-hosting the Buddy and Jim Sirius FM radio show. I have witnessed shows of him solo, sets with full bands, as band member (eg Elvis Costello’s Sugar Canes) and so many guest spots that speak to his talent, drive and the regard in which he is considered by his peers. Hell, we even have enjoyed hospitality from the same gracious house hosts in gorgeous Nelson Country Virginia (but alas, not at the same time).

I am claiming though nothing special in all this. Some friends can easily surpass my “Lauderdale-ness”. What is the point? Well, it is worth mentioning in the context of the sheer size of this man’s bursting music portfolio and what this leads to in reviewing From Another World, his (I think) thirty-second full release (via Yep Roc Records).

“Some Horses Run Free” starts us off the blocks with an insistent and true groove, abound with sharp lyrics flowing and canny chord changes. The waltzy “When You Can’t Have What Your Hearts Wants” showcases this gifted songwriter’s irrepressible true pen, another prototype for a man whose songs have been recorded by countless artists and turned into numerous hits. “The Secrets Of The Pyramids” is more psychedelia country and slow that leads to an embraceable chorus – Third Man Records star Lillie Mae and her brother Frank Rische provide able assistance.

Check out the librarian in this tongue-in-cheek clip for that song.

Even more country and interstellar is “Like People From Another World” which stretches his vocals but has soothing harmonies and a two-step twang.

“One Away” goes a notch higher, a Beatle-esque flair of creeping vocals while “Listen” cuts through and provides a cautionary tale for vacuous behaviour – “listen, listen try not to talk for a while”. “For Keeps” escalates tenderly and harmonically over a classic country landscape (think George Jones) while “Slow Turn In The Road” is a highlight, an engaging triumph, a self-reflecting and deprecating plea with a Moody Blues grandiose passion. “I’ll Forgive You If You Don’t” provides a critical piano undertow and a melody pattern that may prove highly attractive for others to cover.

“The Graceland Horses” is a trippy homage while the painstakingly layered “Ever Living Loving Day” contains a ringing George Harrison guitar break. The closer is the jaunty “Are You Trying To Make A Song Out Of Us” with its tessellated rhythmic pull.

Jim Lauderdale continues to set the bar high with From Another World, a very fine collection of original songs that plays not quite like songs that you have heard, but are familiar in the sense that all the elements are as and where they should be. Another remarkable entry into an extraordinary career.

The final word from the artist:

“When I write or play or get into the studio, it feels like it’s all coming together for me – that this is what I’m here to do. No matter what is going on in the rest of my life, how hard things sometimes get, I can leave behind this three and a half minute song and that makes it all worthwhile.”

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We review the new offering from the prolific one – Jim Lauderdale

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Author: Rob Dickens

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