My Kind of Country

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

Tag Archives: Sam Moore

Album Review: Jim Lauderdale – ‘Pretty Close To The Truth’

Released in 1994, Pretty Close To The Truth was Jim’s second album and the first of two albums to be released on Atlantic. I cannot exactly describe the album as country as it runs the gamut of roots influences from country to Americana, roots rock, blues and classic soul.

My copy of the album is on audio cassette so I am missing much of the peripheral information, so I will operate on the assumption that the songs were all written or co-written by Jim Lauderdale.

The album opens with “This Is The Big Time”, a clever song that compares a entertainment career with the ups and downs of a romantic relationship. In terms of sound, the arrangement reminds me of “Honky Tonk Song”, a 1957 hit for Webb Pierce. Some seem to think that this would have made a good song for Dwight Yoakam to record and I can’t say that I disagree.

Everybody makes mistakes sometimes seems like I live one
When they’re handing out the second tries I hope they save me some
Cause I’m gonna play for keeps this time
Don’t even think of lettin’ go
Cause this is the big time this is the big time
Don’t you run off don’t you get lost this is the big time

I never knew a social grace until I met one
The bells went off inside my head and all that other stuff
There’s gonna be a lot of people callin’ out your name
And saying I’m a lucky guy
Cause this is the big time…

Next up is “I’m On Your Side”, a song that has hints of Buck Owens and early Beatles without being a clone of either and with more blues influence than either.

People tell you what you need is a lesson in defeat
Got you bothered got you down not so sure you want me around
Baby I’m on your side you don’t even have to read my mind
I’m on your side we’ll talk about it more back home
Those who’d come to your defense would not laugh at your expense
Don’t waste time and bear a grudge towards the ones who should not judge
Baby I’m on your side…

“Why Do I Love You” is a slow ballad with a 70s soul vibe that I could hear Al Green or perhaps Sam Moore wrapping their vocal cords around. Lauderdale isn’t as soulful as either Green or Moore but acquits himself well. There is a fair amount of steel guitar as background shading.

Why do I love you why do I love you
Oh I give myself away I give myself away
I had it coming for holding on to nothing
Oh knowing you won’t change you’ll never feel the same

Oh but I’m so weak I’ve lost my strength
To fight such a liar that’s filled me with desire
Why do I miss you I’m dying just to kiss you
I give myself away I don’t want to give myself away

The arrangement on “Divide and Conquer” reminds me of Terry Stafford’s “Suspicion, ”and is similarly paranoid. Danni Leigh had a nice recording of this song

Divide and conquer that’s what he’s gonna do
Getting nearer everytime he gets close to you
Crying on his shoulder you say he’s just your friend
Why’s he standing in the wings waiting for us to end

You don’t have to be afraid while I’m away
Don’t go crying wolf or one’s gonna stake his claim
Divide and conquer tearing us apart
Hitting me where it hurts taking you by the heart yeah

“Grace’s Song” is a mid-tempo ballad thematically similar to the David Wills song “Song On The Jukebox” in that it tells of that special song that individuals or couples associate with themselves.

Yes we’ve been waiting to hear celebrating
For time to stand still and see us all shine some
Yes it gets better dust has to settle
Shook my head out on the sound long enough to look around
Grace’s song is playing…

“Run Like You” is a gentle ballad with a semi-acoustic arrangement

Rome wasn’t built in just one day you better tie those shoes
How do you expect to find your way till daylight’s breaking loose
Good things come to those who wait I won’t be hard to find
If you stop through and hesitate hope that you’re still kind
Get moving you’re proving things to us all
You’re teaching we’re reaching out before we fall
I want to run like you right beside what’s true
I want to run like you no telling what we’d find

The next song, “Can’t Find Mary” picks up the tempo, again with a strongly acoustic feel to it and some very nice guitar picking on the breaks. I don’t know if this would have made a hit single for anyone but I really like the lyrics

When he just appeared and those two first met
I knew there’d be some trouble that we never would forget
She’s just a precious thing such a fragile kind
She didn’t need nobody leaving messing with her mind
Can’t find Mary where’d she go
With the stranger but I don’t think that she knows
Where’s she headed lost somewhere
She just sits there and I don’t think that she cares
When she left our world it was a sudden thing
I lost my only sister waitin’ there in so much pain
And the only shame the only one disgrace

She doesn’t feel the cold rain runnin’ down from off her face
Can’t find Mary where’d she go…
How long how long how long till she’s going to come back home
How long how long how long till she’s going to come back home

“Don’t Trust Me” is a jog-along ballad sung to a girl advising her to be cautious around him

“Three Way Conversation” is an interesting song that sounds much like a modern folk effort mixed with some Buddy Holly guitar licks and an early rock feel.

“Pretty Close To The Truth” is about as close to singing the blues that Lauderdale gets. I could imagine the Rolling Stones singing the song but I don’t regard the song as anything special

Well I just need a little more time I’m begging you to give me
It’s just not right to carry on this way with you
A big boy that oughta act like a man someday
Yeah that’s pretty close to the truth

The album closes with “When The Devil Starts Crying”, a folk blues number that starts rockin’ midway through. Truth be told, I’m not much of a fan of the blues and the last two tracks somewhat spoiled my enjoyment of the album. I would still give the album something in the B to B+ but there are many Jim Lauderdale albums I like better than this album.

While I don’t have a list of the musicians playing on any given track, the following musicians do appear on the album:

Buddy Miller – electric & acoustic guitar, harmony vocals
Gurf Morlix – steel guitar, mandolin, various other guitars
Dusty Wakeman – bass
Tammy Rogers – mandolin, harmony vocals
Greg Leisz – electric & steel guitar, dobro
Donald Lindley – drums, percussion, tambourine

Recommendation: Songs about rain

The (2008) members of Blackhawk, Michael Randall, Henry Paul, and Dave Robbins

The (2008) members of Blackhawk, Michael Randall, Henry Paul, and Dave Robbins

It’s raining again today in southern Ohio, and it has been for the better part of a week now.  A couple days ago, during a particularly torrential downpour, I was sitting here listening to music and decided to search the word ‘rain’ in my media library.  And I have to say I was surprised at just how many songs I had with rain in the title.  I didn’t count songs like Alan Jackson’s ‘Chasin’ That Neon Rainbow’ or Merle Haggard’s ‘Rainbow Stew’, and I still have 27 songs with ‘rain’, ‘raining’, or some variation of the word as part of their song title.

Here’s what I have:

  1. Blackhawk – ‘I Sure Can Smell The Rain’ 
  2. Clint Black – Like The Rain’
  3. Conway Twitty with Sam Moore – ‘Rainy Night In Georgia’
  4. Dolly Parton – ‘Steady As The Rain’
  5. Eddie Rabbit – ‘I Love A Rainy Night’
  6. Garth Brooks – ‘Everytime That It Rains’
  7. Gary Allan – ‘Songs About Rain’
  8. Gary Allan – Yesterday’s Rain
  9. Gretchen Wilson – ‘Raining On Me’
  10. Gretchen Wilson – ‘When It Rains (I Pour)’
  11. Jo Dee Messina – ‘Bring On The Rain’
  12. The Judds – ‘Rockin’ With The Rhythm Of The Rain’
  13. Julie Roberts – ‘Rain On A Tin Roof’
  14. Keith Urban – ‘Raining On Sunday’
  15. Keith Whitley – ‘I’m No Stranger To The Rain’
  16. Reba McEntire – ‘It Always Rains On Saturday’
  17. Rodney Crowell – ‘I Wish It Would Rain’
  18. Ronnie Milsap – Smoky Mountain Rain’
  19. Shania Twain – ‘Raining On Our Love’
  20. Shelby Lynne – ‘The Rain Might Wash Your Love Away’
  21. Tammy Wynette – ‘Crying In The Rain’
  22. Tanya Tucker – ‘Lovin’ Somebody On A Rainy Night’
  23. Trisha Yearwood – ‘Georgia Rain’
  24. Trisha Yearwood – ‘Come Back When It Ain’t Rainin’
  25. Vern Gosdin – ‘Is It Raining At Your House’
  26. Vince Gill – ‘Rhythm Of The Pouring Rain’
  27. Willie Nelson – ‘Blue Eyes Crying In The Rain’

Rainy day songs have long been a staple of country music, as much as the singing cowboy, train songs, and drinking songs.  And whether the rain is used as a metaphor for heartbreak (‘I’m No Stranger To The Rain’) or setting a romantic mood (‘I Love A Rainy Night’, ‘Raining On Sunday’) or just for a reason to party (‘Rockin’ With The Rhythm Of The Rain’, ‘When It Rains’), precipitation and country music have collaborated nicely.

So what are your favorite rain songs?  And what can you think of to add to my list?

Listen to Blackhawk – ‘I Sure Can Smell The Rain’.

Listen to Keith Whitley – ‘I’m No Stranger To The Rain’.