Reason & Rhyme
Sugar Hill Records
Jim Lauderdale isn’t your typical country singer — he’s recorded with folks ranging from Donna The Buffalo to bluegrass stalwart Ralph Stanley — so the fact he’s hooked up with Robert Hunter, former Grateful Dead lyricist, is just another day at the office for Lauderdale. Following up on the success of their 2010 Patchwork River album, the duo keep the songwriting flowing with a bluegrass followup, Reason & Rhyme. And flow it does. From the wry “Jack Dempsey’s Crown” to the easygoing “Don’t Tempt The Devil (With Your Love),” the record is stellar, and with the addition of Nashville’s legendary mandolin picker Mike Compton, this is one top-flight bluegrass band. While the combination of Hunter/Lauderdale hasn’t yet reached the heights of say, Hunter and Jerry Garcia, there might be a “Friend of the Devil” lurking down the road sometime soon. Until then, Reason & Rhyme will certainly do.
Sugar Hill: www.sugarhillrecords.com