by John Gaddis
Jim Lauderdale has always been the musician’s hero, flying under the radar the singer/songwriter has written for the likes of country royalty including, George Strait, the Dixie Chicks, Patty Loveless, Lee Ann Womack, Blake Shelton, Solomon Burke, Gary Allan and Vince Gill. Classic songs like “Where the Sidewalk Ends,” “You Don’t Seem to Miss Me,” “Hole in My Head,” “Halfway Down,” “We Really Shouldn’t Be Doing This,” and many more have come from his pen. A two-time Grammy winning Americana icon, Lauderdale returns with From Another World, a ten-song collection of compassion, love, understanding and unpretentiousness. Lauderdale is a prolific artist, this is his 32nd studio album. Filled with shimming melodies that resonate with heartfelt lyrics, the album ranges from bluegrass qualities to twangy psychedelia, certainly a trait of his time in the California scene where psychedelia country thrived, especially in the 90s.
From Another World offers a sense of healing in a time of troubled anger his latest recording sets out to express his remedy to the discord we all swallow daily. Lauderdaule explains, “This album is about the search for connection, love and understanding between people, about finding empathy in a world where it feels like the folks are more and more at loggerheads. When the world outside your window feels too tough to bear, I hope you’ll step into the world we’ve created here.”
The most poignant track on the album is great advice to heed, clearly from a man who has taken time to look inward and self-reflect. “Listen,” reminds us of our most valued treasure as a human, the ability to listen and hear another side. The song is filled with empathy and reverence for the human spirit. Lauderdale’s voice is filled with empathy and the companion video is nothing short of inspired. Working backwards the opener, “Some Horses Run Free” is an anthemic rocker, with swirling influences from 60s psychedelia to twanging electric guitar.
For true country fans, “When You Can’t Have What Your Heart Wants” is a tune to savor. Taking a trip to the Austin side of town, “The Secrets of the Pyramids,” has a traveling feel, replete with pedal steel and tinkling piano. “Like People From Another World” offers up a more conventional country sound. There is so much to offer, simply the best route is to pick up a copy for yourself. Lauderdale is a pioneer of the Americana sound, and you cannot go wrong with this latest offering. At 62 years old, Lauderdale’s music just keeps deepening. It’s clear he’s on a journey to live in a world with more humbleness and accord.
Reuniting with the team behind last year’s acclaimed Time Flies, Lauderdale once again creates a reflective album with co-producer/bassist Jay Weaver and Grammy Award-winning engineer David Leonard (Prince, John Mellencamp, Toto) to create a mix of solo songs and collaborations with such like-minded co-writers as Melba Montgomery, award-winning producer-songwriter Buddy Cannon, and emerging Americana artist Logan Ledger. The totality of the album is a stunning homage to Lauderdale’s timeless voice in the fabric of Americana.