“If it’s too bright in the darkness, there’s no shadows in the shade.” On a minor-key gem off Jim Lauderdale’s 26th album, the nasal-toned Nashville hero gets to the heart of the matter – that a refuge is required for deep reflection, and that a rest is needed for at least a little while.
On his first full-on country outing in some time, Lauderdale’s double album of tracks is a retreat to graceful tunes and the order to one’s mind such a thing can bring. There are co-writes with Elvis Costello, Bobby Bare, Gary Allan and the Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter. Sweet duet partners include Patty Loveless and Lee Ann Womack.
On the Buck Owens-loving opening cut Let’s Have a Good Thing Together, the proposition is impossible to refuse. He honks, he tonks; he scoots, he soothes – Lauderdale’s songwriting flair is an undeniable joy.