Album Reviews

Jim Lauderdale – Reason and Rhyme (Sugar Hill)

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Jim Lauderdale - Reason and RhymeLauderdale has long been identified as one of the foremost roots artists because of his approach to all types of music and has hosted The Americana Music Awards for several years running. Moving effortlessly between bluegrass and country and many points in between, Lauderdale has written hits for George Strait, George Jones, Vince Gill, Kathy Mattea, and Patty Loveless among others.  For this, his 20th album, Lauderdale teamed up for a second time with Grateful Dead renown lyricist Robert Hunter for this bluegrass gem.

“Janis Jones” is a lament about a long lost love that evokes a previous bluegrass collaborator Ralph Stanley, while the title track “Reason And Rhyme” attempts to decipher the mystery of broken promises and missed opportunities.

“Not Let You Go” is an ominous tale about a strange family with a dark history of revenge and “Don’t Tempt The Devil With Your Love” is an admonition to someone on a perennial quest for a perfect love.  Lauderdale’s broad interpretation of bluegrass is refreshing given the traditionally rigid adherence to the “high lonesome sound” dictated by the legendary Bill Monroe along with Lester Flatt, The Stanley Brothers, and those that followed.

–Scott Peavler

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