Jim Lauderdale – London Southern

Album Review | Proper | Review by Allan Wilkinson | Stars: 3/5

There’s something of the ‘elder statesman’ about Jim Lauderdale as he poses for the cover portrait of his latest album release; part George Jones, part Townes Van Zandt, part Willie Nelson, but pretty much totally Jim Lauderdale.  The lines on his tanned face indicate a life lived, lessons learned, songs sung and the battered guitar featured in the centre spread photo of the accompanying booklet also shows signs of a road well-travelled.  Fresh from his recent appearances with the Transatlantic Sessions, Lauderdale has been busy making new friends on the Celtic Connections scene, and not before time too.  The classy arrangements here, particularly on the tender “I Love You More” demonstrates that Lauderdale seems equally at home as a lounge crooner as a guitar-wielding Saturday night cowboy down the local juke joint, as exemplified on the album closer “This is the Door”.  For the sheer soulfulness of Lauderdale’s rich-in-emotion vocal prowess, look no further than the Muscle Shoals-drenched “Different Kind of Groove Some Time”, co-written with John Oates and recorded a fair distance from the Deep South of America.  As the title suggests, the album was recorded in London with Nick Lowe’s circle of pals very much involved, with Neil Brockbank and Robert Trehern producing.  A fine addition to an already highly prolific catalogue.