From the beginning, four-time Grammy winner Jim Lauderdale’s masterful body of material has reflected a gifted vocalist/writer infused with country and roots music traditions. His previous effort, Soul Searching, explored the sounds of Memphis and Nashville. With Texas his focus this time, he’s backed by A-list Lone Star sidemen including producer-guitarist Tommy Detamore and guitarists Bryce Clarke, John Carroll, and Chris Masterson balancing various electric and acoustic guitars. Detamore handles, among other things, pedal steel and tic-tac bass. Every number, referencing some aspect of Texas country, is awash in shimmering guitar.
Detamore’s steel honors Buddy Emmons and Jimmy Day on the Ray Price-inspired “I’ll Still Be Around” and “Lost In The Shuffle.” Bob Wills swing drives “You Turn Me Around.”
As Detamore keens behind him, Lauderdale’s voice invokes Lefty Frizzell and George Jones on “The Weakness Of Two Hearts,” “It All Started And Ended With You,” and “There Is A Horizon.” “Nobody’s Fault,” starting with a sharp, clean guitar intro, is one of two numbers (“Drive” being the other) honoring the ’70s Waylon and Willie Outlaw sound. The Tejano rocker “We Really Shouldn’t Be Doing This” features a brief, blazing Brice Clarke solo.
Taken together, it upholds Lauderdale’s reputation for excellence.
This article originally appeared in VG‘s March ’17 issue. All copyrights are by the author and Vintage Guitar magazine. Unauthorized replication or use is strictly prohibited.