Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Logan Matheny at Big Light, Nashville, Tennessee
Just the introductions alone to the four songs in Jim Lauderdale's first ever Daytrotter session are worth the listen. The country legend from Nashville's every move, word and association are little bits of history in the making. The songs themselves are reminders that everyone's a damned work in process. With any luck, it will always be that way. There are few surer things than encountering emotional sea change with every passing day. People are barely able to keep going without great assistance from others. And yet, that's always playing with fire, getting caught up with others, who have their own survival and sanity to worry about. One song here, Lauderdale wrote after reading an anecdote in a George Jones biography, relating a scene from a party that Gram Parsons was throwing at his home. He was playing George Jones records and crying because he was listening to the guy he considered the "king of broken hearts." Being the king of such things means a man's good at two things, one better than the other, but all of that experience makes for easier relating among the crumbling, but still punching. Elsewhere, he continues on the theme, singing, "Just like a counterfeit, you pass from palm to palm," and we feel the unwanted poetry in such ache. It's what creates men like Jones, Parsons and a fellow king like Lauderdale.