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Friday, 23rd June 2017
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Jim Lauderdale - London Southern

Americana.  Its a handy word when faced with judging offerings from across the pond.
Is it blues, country, folk, bluesgrass?
Er, dunno.
 Well say its Americana then.
Duh. Ok.

Its also useful for Jim Lauderdale, who launched his latest album, London Southern at the start of last month.   Whilst his treatment of each genre is quite specific, theres a few of them, so sticking one label on doesnt work. 

Opening track, Sweet time is straight ahead country, whilst  I Love You More, is out of the cocktail bar.  It only needs a broad in half an evening dress draped across the piano.   You came to get me, with its horn arrangement would be Motown with a different beat.

Its the first time Lauderdale, recipient of numerous awards, including two grammys has recorded in Britain. Its something I had wanted to do for a long time, but more important was getting to work with Nick Lowes band and with his co-producers Neil Brockbank and Bobby Irwin, he says.  I had been such a huge fan of Nicks and was able to be his support act back at different times in 94 and 95 which was a huge break for me.  So fast forward 20 years later and this record came together.

An album like London Southern needs a couple of killer tracks to set if off, and its lacking in this respect.   The mid-part is the strongest. If I cant resist,  is a rare foray into a minor key with a samba beat,  Dont Let Yourself get in the way is pretty and No Right Way to be Wrong is straight from the swinging sixties.

In addition, whilst producers Neil Brockbank and Robert Trehern do a solid, restrained job for the most part, allowing the main act to cut loose from time to time would be an improvement.

Nevertheless, London Southern is a likeable record that does grow on you and with Lauderdale now taking part in the transatlantic session he may find himself new fans in the UK.

- Les Pilling


Jim Lauderdale

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