Jim Lauderdale

The Nashville hit factory may have reduced much of country songwriting to a game of easily guessing the next rhyme or cliché as one listens to [s]hit country radio, but at times the charts have also included quality numbers deep in the wise, witty and heartfelt old country compositional tradition by Jim Lauderdale, who just may be a man for all country seasons. The über-prolific writer and artist's recent two-fer CD release—the cheekily titled Country Super Hits (whose songs all sound like they could be) and Bluegrass (just what it says it is)—display the rich talent that gets him covered by the stars, embraced by the Americana gang and admired by his peers. Plain and simple, he's country as it should be and written as best it can be, and without the usual silly alt or Music Row trappings—other than maybe his penchant for shirts so vivid they look like they need batteries.
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Rob Patterson

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