My Kind of Country

Country music from a fan's point of view since 2008

Album Review: Buddy Miller and Jim Lauderdale – ‘Buddy And Jim’

buddy and jimIn 2013 Buddy Miller teamed up with fellow singer-songwriter Jim Lauderdale for a duo project, produced by Buddy. Both men are noted for their eclectic musical tastes, so it should be no surprise that this record does not fit neatly into any categories, but a good half of it is country, and very good. Mostly either Buddy sings lead with Jim Lauderdale harmonising, or they sing together.

My favorite track is the shuffle ‘Looking For A Heartache Like You’, a super tune which both men had previously recorded individually (Buddy on his Cruel Moon album) and which the pair perform here with energy. It’s given a solid country arrangement and works extremely well.

Delving even deeper into country music’s roots is the charming traditional country/blues/folk ‘The Train That Carried My Gal From Town’ which was first recorded in 1926. Buddy and Jim’s version is excellent, complete with train sound effects. ‘Lonely One In This Town’, of similar antiquity, has a jug-band feel, and is pretty good.

The steel-laced ‘That’s Not Even Why I Love You’ is a deeply tender love song which Buddy sings lead on, and is lovely. In the same musical vein, but more downbeat, ‘It Hurts Me’ (written by Julie Miller) is also excellent.

The bluesy ‘Lost My Job Of Loving You’ is good though not very country with guitars which swamp it; this live acoustic performance by the pair is more to my personal taste. The album version is still quite powerful. I would rather like to hear a cover of this song by Gary Allan. Allan did record the bouncy ‘Forever And A Day’ on his debut album and it was a minor single for him; Buddy and Jim’s version is quite entertaining.

There are, however, tracks that I enjoyed less. R&B cover ‘I Want To Do Everything For You’ didn’t do a lot for me, but is competently if unemotionally performed. I enjoyed the zydeco/swamp-rock of ‘South In New Orleans’ more. ‘The Wobble’ is muddy rockabilly leaning more to the rock side of that spectrum, and not very interesting. The only track I really disliked was ‘Vampire Girl’, which has a vaguely psychedelic sound and bizarre lyric.

Overall, though, this is an enjoyable collaboration and fine album.

Grade: A-

Incidentally the guys currently have a radio show on Sirius XM.

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