Jim Lauderdale

Jim Lauderdale

Whisper

BMG

Good country music is really refreshing but so hard to find. Most of the material on the shit-kicker stations is either gimmicky crap or rehashed ’60s retro. This album is a baker’s dozen high-quality country songs, well-written and nicely played. Lauderdale’s voice is smooth and rich, without that fake twang which has become the standard in the industry. His songs are intelligent, insightful, and immediate. He buries his hooks deep and we hardly notice them until he reels us in. The opening cut, “Goodbye Song,” makes breaking up a warm fuzzy experience. The last song, “I’ll Lead You Home,” features bluegrass group Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mountain Boys; a real gem.

This is solid, worthwhile country music done the way it should be: with style and feeling.

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