Jim Lauderdale & the Dream Players
Winning Grammy Awards has allowed Jim Lauderdale to record what he wants, when he wants. Such is the case with his latest album-his fourth in less than eighteen months- Honey Songs.
With a backing band the sort of a liner note reader’s wildest fantasy (Burton, Tallent, Perkins, Hardin, and the like,) Lauderdale has crafted a full-bodied collection of songs that successfully straddle the conflicting forces of the country world- Nashville commercialism and retro-country hipness.
“Honey Suckle Honey Pie” establishes the parameters of the proceedings with classic-sounding, tic-tac country guitar and playful but heart-earning vocals. Elsewhere, pedal steel comes wailing to the fore.
“I Hope You’re Happy”,”Hittin’ It Hard”, and “It’s Finally Sinkin’ In” are a trio of love gone south tunes, but each has a distinctive approach to the conveyance of the proceedings. Emmylou Harris stops by to lend her voice to the album’s pining closer (“I’m Almost Back”) while Patty Loveless, Buddy Miller, and Kelly Hogan appear elsewhere.
Jim Lauderdale is one of the most criminally under-known country singers and songwriters enjoying critical acclaim. Honey Songs reveals a little more with every listen, and is further evidence that his creative well is in no danger of running dry.