I'm a Song

I'm a Song

by Jim LauderdaleJim Lauderdale


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Jim Lauderdale embodies the very meaning of Americana. Over 25 previous albums, he's recorded everything from blues to bluegrass, rock to honky tonk, solo acoustic folk records to R&B and collaborated with a slew of artists including Ralph Stanley. His songs have been recorded by George Strait and Dwight Yoakam, to name just two. I'm a Song is his first straight-ahead country record in seven years, and it's a double. He wrote 11 of these 20 tracks alone, and the rest with Robert Hunter, Odie Blackmon, John Oates, Elvis Costello, Bobby Bare, and Gary Allan. Nine tunes were cut live from the floor with Al Perkins and James Burton at RCA's Studio A. The rest of the band includes Kenny Vaughan, Dennis Crouch, Stuart Duncan, and Oates, with guests Patty Loveless, Buddy Miller, and Lee Ann Womack. Longtime fans will be delighted to find a new version of "King of Broken Hearts" from 1991's Planet of Love -- later a hit for Strait. Inspired by the way George Jones re-cut his hits he reflects how the song's meaning has deepened over time. "I Lost You," co-written with Costello, originally appeared on the latter's National Ransom, but is done here with more minimal production and a straight-head delivery. Honky tonk ballads make up an important part of I'm a Song. Some of the finer ones include "I Wish You Loved Me," "The Day the Devil Changed," "Feeling's Hanging On" (a co-write with Bare) and "I Wish You Loved Me," the Merle Haggard-esque "A Day with No Tomorrow," and "Let Him Come to You," where Lauderdale blends swing jazz, vintage pop, and countrypolitain and the ghosts of Jim Reeves, Patsy Cline, Skeeter Davis, and Roy Drusky haunt its measures. The uptempo tunes really cook. They include the rocking opener "Let's Have a Good Thing Together," the stinging Telecaster choogle in "End of the World Rag," and the rhythm & bluesy country-rock closer "We Will Rock Again," which is evocative of Delaney & Bonnie. Other highlights include the midtempo "Makin' Honey," "Today I've Got the Yesterdays," and the brooding "Doin' Time in Bakersfield." It's not easy to pull off a country double album, but Lauderdale is, as usual, canny, and the album's length feels just right. I'm a Song is certainly informed by the Harlan Howard/Chet Atkins Nashville sound of the early to mid-'60s: it is seamlessly sequenced and dynamically balanced, but production never gets in the way of the song. Ultimately, it doesn't feel retro as much as timeless. Lauderdale adds his writing and arranging spin to a grand tradition and because of his skill, extends it.

Product Details

Release Date: 07/01/2014
Label: Sky Crunch Records
UPC: 0662582718423
catalogNumber: 7184
Rank: 89582

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Jim Lauderdale   Primary Artist
Patty Loveless   Vocal Harmony
James Burton   Electric Guitar,Guitar (Resonator)
Chad Cromwell   Drums
Dennis Crouch   Bass
John Jarvis   Piano
Buddy Miller   Vocal Harmony
John Oates   Acoustic Guitar
Perkins   Pedal Steel Guitar,Lap Steel Guitar
Kenny Vaughn   Electric Guitar
Lee Ann Womack   Vocal Harmony
Perry Coleman   Vocal Harmony
Tania Hancheroff   Vocal Harmony
Rachel Loy   Electric Bass
Micah Hulscher   Piano,Hammond B3
Russ Paul   Pedal Steel Guitar

Technical Credits

Bobby Bare   Composer
Jim Lauderdale   Composer,Producer
Elvis Costello   Composer
Robert Hunter   Composer
Emory Gordy   Engineer
John Oates   Composer
Frank Dycus   Composer
Gary Allan   Composer
Gina R. Binkley   Cover Portrait
Mark Irwin   Composer
Odie Blackmon   Composer
Jimmy Ritchey   Composer
Leslie Richter   Engineer
Matt Warren   Composer

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