Jim Lauderdale: The Bluegrass Diaries

Jim Lauderdale: The Bluegrass DiariesBluegrass troubadour Jim Lauderdale will be releasing his new CD of bluegrass originals next month. The street date for The Bluegrass Diaries is September 18, 2007. The Bluegrass Diaries is a follow up to the highly acclaimed Bluegrass which he released almost exactly one year earlier.

I was a fan of Jim’s Bluegrass album, and I’m equally enthralled with The Bluegrass Diaries. Produced by dobro master Randy Kohrs, The Bluegrass Diaries is a collection of tunes showcasing Lauderdale’s originality, diversity, and authenticity. Accordingly, the song writing demonstrates Lauderdale’s breadth as an artist. All the songs were either written or co-written by Lauderdale himself, and they’re all good.

The opening tune, This Is The Last Time (I’m Ever Gonna Hurt), begins the CD energetically with a great bluegrass theme. Other tracks on the CD increase the pace. One Blue Mule (track 7) is a classic fast bluegrass song with the requisit blazing solos from both Randy Kohrs and Clay Hess. The CD finishes in the same manner with Ain’t No Way To Run, another barn burner featuring smoking solos from all the musicians, including Randy Kohrs, Jesse Cobb, Cody Kilby, Richard Bailey, and Aaron Till.

Can We Find Forgiveness (track 5) is an example of all that I love about Lauderdale’s songwriting, singing, and arranging. Great lyrics, an interesting melody, and a great arrangement are all to be found in this one tune. My Somewhere Just Got Here is another tune that introduces an unexpected twist in the melody on the chorus.

Chances (tracks 6) is slated as the first single from the album and is already available for purchase as a download.

The pace changes with a couple of classic country ballad type songs like I Wanted To Believe (track 3), which features some great harmonies from Randy Kohrs and Cia Cherryholmes, and Are You Having Second Thoughts.

The CD is, without a doubt, bluegrass in it’s very essence. But it does give you a taste of the diversity you’ll find in Lauderdale’s songwriting. Jim commented on that aspect of his career.

I recognize that my diversity can create a challenge for those that need to categorize me. Where even though I might have Ralph Stanley singing with me, there’s also some singer/songwriter stuff and some country stuff — so which bin does it belong in at the record store? That’s just not for me to decide. That kind of question has nothing to do with making music.

This is a great CD that I highly recommend. If you liked Bluegrass, you’ll love The Bluegrass Diaries. Jim’s label, Yep Roc Records, is offering the CD for pre-order now, and the first 100 people who order will recieve their copy autographed.