A conversation with Jim Lauderdale.

 “The King of Broken Hearts, Americana phenomena Jim Lauderdale sat down with All Music Matters to discuss his recent album “London Southern”,  early upbringing, influences, and career.”

Earthlings, behold what I’m about to share. “All Music Matters” are proud to present its second episode of this season, an interview with the one and only Mr. Jim Lauderdale, yes, yes you read that right Jim Lauderdale, “The King of Broken Hearts” Jim Lauderdale.

The Two-time Grammy winner and 2016 Life achievement “Wagonmaster” award receiver sat down and talked about his recent album “London Southern” his influence and growing up, following his career where he mentioned a recent discovery of which I nearly cried when I was told. You have to listen in order to know what I’m talking about. (*Hint it involves a missing record.)

A little background on Jim Lauderdale and his exciting career, which spanned over 25 years [still counting] 29 records released. Working with numerous musicians, including the late Bluegrass legend Ralph Stanly, Elvis Costello, and Grateful Dead Lyricist Robert Hunter who both managed to write up to “100 songs” that were published in six albums. 3 of those 6 were released in a course of 3 months apart in the same year! The man is in no hurry to slow down whatsoever. Buddy Miller, Lee Ann Womack, Garry Allan and Dave Edmonds, the list is too big to fit everyone among others who had covered and worked with Jim Lauderdale.

Growing up in North Carolina, with both parents being musically involved, exposed to a variety of sounds including The Beatles “The Fab Four” British Blues innovation, Bluegrass, and Country, the singer grew up in a very diverse musical atmosphere and from a young age Lauderdale knew one thing! That the music industry was the place for him.

With songs about doubts, getting back on track, Love and funny tales, the musician is known for his enthusiasm and passion towards songwriting and performing, which you’ll hear in this month episode.

On the other hand, his association with “Americana” or “Roots music” goes way back while he was living in New York. Lauderdale was just establishing a name for himself after leaving Nashville behind. One of the spots he performed in was “The Lone Star Cafe” a venue located on Fifth avenue. During 1970, “Lone Star Cafe” became the premier country music venue in New York by booking big country acts such as Goerge Strait, Willie Nelson, Roy Orbison among many others.

And that’s also where Lauderdale first met his now longtime friend and collaborator, Buddy Miller.

Miller was already rolling through the New York Country scene with his wife Julie Miller by performing on a number of spots around the city.  The two had been friends for over 38 years today. Despite working on one another’s solo projects, the two never collaborated on a record together until 2012 where they released “Buddy and Jim” on New West Records. Colliding both forces, the record was nothing but pure awesomeness. Nothing fancy or overly done. it was just right.

In 2016 AMA “Americana Music Association” announced The “Wagonmaster” award will be going to Jim Lauderdale for his dedication and output to Americana music throughout the years. The annual event took place at the prestigious “Ryman Auditorium” the home of “The Grand Ole Opry” in Nashville.

The singer talked about the experience and involvement with Americana when he sat down with The Guardian few months after recveing the award, saying  “The one thing I really love about being involved in Americana is that there is no one thing.” explaining in some genre’s there isn’t much of liberation in synchronizing many styles into one album, it’s often “stay within the box” process that is provided, unlike Americana or roots music, the flexibility of an artist expressing his/her passion for many unique styles at his/her own free will.

Certainly, Lauderdale’s work truly is unique, in terms of sound and style, whether it was the sound of the banjo or the electric guitar his work consists of what he loves and admires in a song, representing time and space he is surrounded with. As an example, the singer recently performed at a weekly show he hosts called “Music City Roots” with a song titled “Like People From Another World” the singer drew back on his experience with “The Transatlantic Sessions” tour around the UK that took place early February. The song is open for interpretations. However, Lauderdale here is inviting audiences all over the world to experience his recent venture overseas and the love and disbelief he had encountered of people’s positive feedback towards the shows. At the beginning of the footage where you can access below, he starts by introducing the song saying, “This song is less than 24 hours old” making it fresh out of the oven and delivered to the masses on a golden platter. as you listen along midway through you’d hear him say,

“Makes me want to smile, are we in out of space?

You are like people from another world. and that’s good!”

This is just a simple example of the musician representation of time and space as there are plenty more you can listen and have access too, not only writing about his encounters, but also about his admiration for other artists.

This leads me to “King of Broken Hearts” song which Lauderdale wrote as a dedication to both Gram Parsons and Geroge Jones whose music he admires and loves. “King of Broken Hearts” went on to be one of the biggest hits after George Strait recorded for “Pure Country” film in 1992

You can listen to “You are like people from another world” by following the link and leave your own interpretation of the song and how it spoke to you in the comments below: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK8AZp0s0uc&ab_channel=MusicCityRoots

Quite recently, Lauderdale released an album titled “London Southern” on “Proper Records” his very first album published overseas. The album was recorded at “Goldtop Studios” in Balham, London. Produced by Neil Brockband, Robert Trehren whom Lauderdale met during a tour with Nick Lowe in 1994. Some of the featured songs on the album were co-written including “If I Can’t Resist” and “Different Kind Of Groove” with John Oates who Lauderdale is very grateful of for helping him decide on a title for the record. Dan Pen, Odie Blackmon, and Kendell Marvell were among featured writers alongside 6 of Lauderdale own compositions that were written during sessions and after gigs throughout his tour in the UK and the US. London Southern is a fusion of everything you want in an album, the plot is, Bakersfield music joining forces with R&B and Soul coming together on a sunny April spring, sipping on a cup of coffee and enjoying the warm breeze that swiftly brushes through your face at a front porch in Nashville.

The album draws once again the musician early influences with the likes of the Beatles and his all-time hero “Mr. Country” George Jones.

Working under pressure is no deal breaker for Lauderdale, as once again you’d hear in this month episode. One thing though we didn’t manage to talk about was his outfits that would make both Porter Wagner and Little Jimmy Dickson jealous for their bedazzlement. Like the picture that is shown on the right.

However, we did talk about his wit and charm on stage when asked whether his time as a theater student helped influence his performance and writing.

Before I conclude this post, I’d like to Thank Mr. Lauderdale for his time and patience throughout the whole interview and a huge Thank you to the wonderful Claire who managed to make it happen.

Jim Lauderdale is a man of many things, so Earthlings, I present to you, one of my all time favorite musician Mr. Jim Lauderdale.

 

 

 

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