When Carolina Comes Home Again, the upcoming album from Americana superstar Jim Lauderdale, is an all bluegrass project, dedicated to his home state of North Carolina. Set to hit March 27 on Yep Roc Records, it includes collaborations with fellow Tar Heels Steep Canyon Rangers, Balsam Range, Town Mountain, Songs From the Road Band, and several others.
Long time fans knows that Jim got his start in bluegrass, and it has never been far from his heart even when he was sometimes recording music beyond the boundaries that define the genre.
For Lauderdale, pride in his state, and its folk traditions, comes naturally.
“North Carolina has such a long and important heritage in bluegrass music. Since it’s where I’m originally from, and where I started playing bluegrass, it seemed right to go back to my roots in bluegrass there and collaborate with musicians in that area. There’s just something in the atmosphere there. Hearing bluegrass in different areas and settings in North Carolina, the music is just there in the air. The first bluegrass festival I ever went to was Union Grove when I was 14, and it blew my mind. The music got into my bones, and I just had to get a banjo.”
So the single just released is called Cackalacky, a nickname for Carolina that started as a pejorative, but which has since been embraced with pride by residents of both North and South Carolina. It was co-written with folk legend Si Kahn, who Jim claims as a major influence.
“Si Kahn is a national treasure. I’ve wanted to write with him for a long time, especially after talking about it for years at MerleFest and IBMA. I’m so proud and happy to have written this song of Carolina with him, and I hope this will be the first of many songs with Si.”
Other co-writers with Jim for this record include Robert Hunter, Charles R. Humphrey III, John Oates, Graham Sharp, Logan Ledger and Sara Douga.
Pre-orders for When Carolina Comes Home Again can be placed via bandcamp, for LPs, CDs, or downloads.