Have you ever worked with someone and found that everything just clicked? Ideas are flushed out faster, and each of you has an instant editor. Jim Lauderdale and Robert Hunter co-wrote every song on Jim’s new CD: Headed for the Hills. This is an impressive collection and here’s why:
The stories are captivating
A man considers deserting both sides during the civil war (Sandy Ford). An Alley cat eavesdrops on broken dreams and reflects (Trashcan Tomcat). Two characters on the run choose the merits of a small town as a hideaway (Crazy Peg & Darby Doyle). A man hikes in the high country to escape, only to find his feelings of emptiness solidified (High Timberline).
The lyrics stand on their own
“This might just be our kind of town, big enough to turn around, small enough to step from side to side…
Peg, you know you got a way of sayin’ what I meant to say, before I found out what is myself.” (Crazy Peg & Darby Doyle)
“Even madness has it season, well you know it’s difficult….
Never ask to know the reason, you can judge by the result.” (Trashcan Tomcat)
The delivery is passionate and confident
Jim Lauderdale’s voice has always been unique. Like Jimmy Dale Gilmore, he sounds like he was an old time country singer from 50 years ago, yet like Gilmore, he doesn’t just sing old-fashioned themes about heartbreak. With Hunter’s writing craft in support, now Lauderdale has even more to say, and because of the strong writing, he’s a more compelling singer.
The guest musicians make the songs exciting
Look who’s here: Darrell Scott, Tim O’Brien, Bryan Sutton and Buddy Miller. Emmylou Harris joins him for the album’s first song High Timberline. Allison Moorer joins him on Leaving Mobile Both singers force Lauderdale to be at his best.
Not ever song is a winner, but those that are (mentioned above) give us that special gift that keeps on giving. You listen once and you nod, and when you listen 10 more times, you grasp a deeper understanding as to why you nodded in the first place. In fact, I’m no longer nodding – I’m cheering. Let me know which ones grab you.