Jim Lauderdale is now 30 albums deep into his career and his latest is indeed a pearl of a record, blending his customary mix of country, soul and swing with sweet and subtle ease.
The title track opens the album on a high with an aching sway that blossoms into a soaring chorus reminiscent of Melbournians Lost Ragas. It’s a perfect example of how Lauderdale can have a Beatles-esque section sidling up against sweeping country rock reminiscent of The Band. From there he takes the listener on a journey through lightly funked up blues, soft and dreamy psychedelia (‘Violet’), the traditional honky tonk of ‘Slow As Molasses’, the shuffling rockabilly of ‘Where The Cars Go By Fast’ and the darker, gathering clouds of the saxophone accented ‘Wearing Out Your Cool’. ‘While You’re Hoping’ is Sinatra cutting country shapes and closer ‘If The World Is Still Here Tomorrow’ is a classic country croon, measured and austere.
There are no lyrical revelations or a sense that Lauderdale is giving us particular insight into his thoughts and ideas and with such strong songwriting across all 11 tracks he doesn’t need to. The joy is in Lauderdale’s melodic nous and the playing and production which allow the songs to breath and take flight on this gem of an album.