Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Jim Lauderdale - London Southern, album review

Solid After Solid

Recorded in London with Nick Lowe’s band and record producers, the songs on this fine album are as English as wall-to-wall summer sunshine.

Indeed, opener Sweet time is as honky-tonk blues as the humid heat of a Deep Southern States’ post-Spring season, just to clarify, but second I love you more is continental, a lounge ballad with strings yet country-defined by Lauderdale’s distinctive twang. This and next We’ve only got so much time reside in their echo of 50s/60s pop balladry too, and perhaps this also hints at a marriage between roots and the international. Whatever, these are well-crafted songs, self-penned and co-written with the likes of Dan Penn and John Oates.

Fourth You came to get me is more upbeat, a walking pop-blues with horns and a hint of The Mavericks adding to the musical geography. What have you got to lose is gospel with a vocal chorus, and If I can’t resist returns to the latin-esque beats I hear in the Mavericks’ echo.

And it continues, solid song after solid song, Lauderdale’s signature sound in that vocal drawl. Ninth Different kind of groove some time is a soulful interjection, smooth as the groove its title signifies, a Country Green in the singing, if you get the al-lusion.

After the opener, eleventh Don’t shut me down is the other purer country song, with the album closing on the rockabilly of This is a door. Time to open it up and dance through the happy hall of songs once more.

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