The Other Sessions

by Jim Lauderdale

6/12/01 Dualtone

Lots of Nashville musicians walk the line between traditional and contemporary country music, but few do so as successfully as Jim Lauderdale. He’s penned hits for stars such as George Strait, Patty Loveless and Kathy Mattea, but balanced that by recording a Grammy-nominated album with bluegrass patriarch Ralph Stanley. Lauderdale has co-written songs with everyone from Dixie Chick Emily Robison to Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter, and collaborations play a huge part of his eighth release, The Other Sessions. Lauderdale always had an innate grasp of classic country, and he really goes old-school here, teaming with legendary country songwriters Harlan Howard, Melba Montgomery and Del Reeves. Loaded with clean, twanging guitar and sweet, crying pedal steel, The Other Sessions is heavily weighted toward the Bakersfield sound of Merle Haggard and Buck Owens. From the slow-dance ready “I’d Follow You Anywhere,” to the hard honky tonkin’ “Just To Get To You,” to the dobro-dappled “First Things First,” Jim Lauderdale has the soul to make country music that sounds both time-honored and fresh, and the smooth croon to pull off lines like “If I were you/ then I’d love me forever.”