Could We Get Any Closer?

Could We Get Any Closer?

by Jim Lauderdale


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Jim Lauderdale is something of an enigma. He makes modern country music that comes disguised as bluegrass, but it has little in common with what used to be called "newgrass." Newgrass bands like the Country Gentlemen, the Seldom Scene,, and the New Grass Revival expanded bluegrass' boundaries by covering rock and pop tunes, or by dressing like hippies and adding drums and electric instruments to the mix. What Lauderdale does is fundamentally different: he adds complexity to the traditional bluegrass formula, infuses it with a decidedly honky tonk spirit, and thereby creates something new that neither condescends to bluegrass tradition nor waters down its essential elements. Consider "I Took a Liking to You," the track that opens this album: over what sounds at first like a head-long, straight-up bluegrass backing, Lauderdale sings an almost laconic lyric in half time while banjo wizard Scott Vestal veers slyly from Earl Scruggs banjo clichés to flowery chromaticism and back again. The slow-burning Calico sounds something like a Ralph Stanley tribute, while "That's Why I'm Here with You" is a lovely, lilting acoustic Western swing number. "Lead Me" is a gospel number with a slightly sardonic edge ("Are you up there laughing at my plans?"), while the title track is simply a breathtakingly perfect country song. Lauderdale is in the process of creating something entirely new using elements that are entirely traditional and familiar -- it's a thrilling process to watch, and it results in songs that are a joy to listen to.

Product Details

Release Date: 08/18/2009
Label: Sky Crunch Records
UPC: 0641444044221
catalogNumber: 442
Rank: 142378

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Jim Lauderdale   Primary Artist
Terry Baucom   Banjo
Ned Luberecki   Vocal Harmony
Adam Steffey   Mandolin
Scott Vestal   Banjo
Josh Williams   Mandolin
Charlie Cushman   Banjo
Tim Crouch   Fiddle
Cody Kilby   Acoustic Guitar
Randy Kohrs   Guitar (Resonator),Vocal Harmony
Clay Hess   Acoustic Guitar
Josh Williams & High Gear   Mandolin
Ashley Brown   Fiddle,Vocal Harmony
Aaron Till   Fiddle
Richard Bailey   Banjo
Jesse Cobb   Mandolin
Stephen Mougin   Vocal Harmony
Candace Randolph   Vocal Harmony
Bryn Davies   Bass,Cello
Jay Weaver   Bass
Candace Randolph   Vocal Harmony
Ollie O'Shea   Fiddle

Technical Credits

Jim Lauderdale   Composer
Robert Hunter   Composer
Shawn Camp   Composer
Randy Kohrs   Producer,Engineer
Odie Blackmon   Composer
Candace Randolph   Composer
Michael Latterell   Engineer
Candace Randolph   Composer

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