Jim Lauderdale “My Favorite Place”

Sky Crunch Records, 2024

Classic set of eleven new songs from Mr Americana.

Cover art fro Jim Lauderdale 'My Favourite Place'Where do you begin with Jim Lauderdale? Thirty-six previous albums to his name and a host of songwriting credits and collaborations.  A radio DJ with his Buddy & Jim show with Buddy Miller.  A performer in pretty much every element of American roots music and dubbed ‘Mr Americana’.

Lauderdale’s latest album sees him return to classic country mode with the core of the Game Changers following last year’s bluegrass record, ‘The Long And Lonesome Letting Go’ with The Po’ Rambling Boys.  ‘My Favorite Place’ was recorded at Nashville’s Blackbird Studios with Jeremy Cottrell and co-produced by Lauderdale and Jay Weaver.

Weaver played bass on most of the record.  Other musicians included Orkney’s Craig Smith on guitars, Mischa Hulscher on keyboards, Dave Racine on drums and Lillie Mae Rische on backing vocals along with a long list of class players.  Lauderdale was the sole writer for eight of the album’s eleven songs with the others being co-writes with Bob Minner, Cowboy Jack Clement and Gayle Dean Wardlaw respectively.

The album opens with the title track setting the scene for much of the rest of the record with a George Jones-style sound and Tommy Detamore’s pedal steel and Tim Crouch’s fiddle prominent. The second track, ‘Mrs Green’ (the Minner co-write) evokes the sound of 1969 both musically and lyrically.  ‘Lightning Tree’, credited to Lauderdale and Clement, takes the album into folk territory as Lauderdale tells the tale of the eponymous tree and its place in the narrator’s history.

Lauderdale slows things down with ‘You’ll Be Gone By Then’, its plaintive vocal framed by Smith’s twang and Steve Hinson’s pedal steel. Hulscher’s piano roll then leads into the swing of ‘Sweethearts Remember’  with some delightful jazzy guitar from Smith and sweet harmony from Rische.

Rocker ‘Don’t You Treat ‘Em That Way’ leads into the country soul of ‘Baby Steps’ (the Wardlow co-write) each driven in their way by Racine’s drums and more impressive guitar work from Smith. As the title implies ‘I’m A Lucky Loser’ returns to the classic country style accompanied by a longer list of musicians and with Rische being joined by brother Frank on the backing vocals while ‘We Ought To Celebrate’ is another twangy rocker with a bouncy bass line from Weaver. The rocking is stepped up for the penultimate song ‘You’ve Got A Shine’ with some funky piano from Hulscher and twin leads from Smith and Chris Scruggs.  The album closer ‘What’s Important After All’ has a cowboy campfire song feel to it and brings the record to quite an intimate close.

‘My Favorite Place’ is very much a classic Jim Lauderdale record with well-written songs and impressive performances.  They should make a great addition to his live repertoire.

8/10
8/10
  • - 0/10
    0/10

About Richard Parkinson 150 Articles
London based self-diagnosed music junkie with tastes extending to all points of big tent americana and beyond. Fan of acts and songs rather than genres.
Subscribe
Notify of
guest

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

4 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Stuartstorm

Mr Lauderdale is one of the few artists I don’t like at all. His voice is a turn-off and his songs are neither fish nor flesh.Horrible artist who deserves no mention.

Jonathan Aird

Wow.
I’m the complete reverse – he’s such a darn clever songwriter, and the range of styles he has encompassed is impressive. There’s always something new and (for me) worth hearing. I guess that’s why we mention him as often as we can….

Alan Peatfield

Sorry, Jonathan, whilst I wouldn’t be quite so harsh as Stuartstorm I don’t see or hear too much merit in poor old Jim. I have witnessed him as a compere for various artists and readily praise his abilities as a good raconteur who can link a show of artists together. But that’s it I’m afraid.

Richard Parkinson

Hadn’t considered Jim Lauderdale quite so marmite. Interesting.