Exactly thirty years after his debut solo album, “Planet Of Love”, co-produced by Rodney Crowell and John Leventhal, which catapulted him into the Nashville music biz, Jim Lauderdale is keeping up with that genuine enthusiasm and his natural ability to entertain. Inspired by the most authentic American music, the North Carolina native has in these three decades offered a broad spectrum of sounds that is linked to tradition, from country music to bluegrass, touching soul, pop and southern sensations in an irrepressible journey.
Lauderdale’s honesty and humanity make him one of the most beloved by his colleagues who have often recorded his songs. George Strait, Patty Loveless, Gary Allan, Mark Chesnutt, Lee Ann Womack and many others have made use of his compositional talents and the likes of Ralph Stanley, Buddy Miller, Robert Hunter (the Grateful Dead’s lyricist), Nick Lowe and Roland White have profitably forged bonds of great collaboration in a career, that of Jim Lauderdale, always full of ideas and surprises. His last album, “Hope”, offers clean and sparkling sounds, the awareness of a songwriting that even when it draws on pop it does so with a remarkable class and a message of positivity and hope. Jim Lauderdale interpretations are convincing, so real and inspiring, perfectly balanced and intense as in “The Opportunity To Help Somebody Through It” with tasty Soul hints, “Here’s To Hoping” with its classic country taste and a saxophone reminding us of the early Sixties, “Brave One” offering “Byrdsian” cues thanks to the beautiful guitars blending and the pulsing rockful “Joyful Noise”. His country soul comes out more in the ballads, often marked by a nice steel guitar work still linked to unmistakable roots. “Memory”, “Sister Horizon”, “Breathe Real Slow” and “Brighter Side Of Lonely” are explanatory in this sense, confirming Lauderdale’s great artistry. “Hope” is one of the most significant records of his wide production (which has exceeded thirty albums) and tastefully sketches the complete image of a solid eclectic character. (Review by Remo Ricaldone, translation by Layla Forgiarini)