The first time I met Jim Lauderdale was at The Sage in Gateshead. Two things struck me, he was wise and softly spoken yet when he took to the stage, he could hold the entire room in the palm of his hand. He was commanding the stage with his storytelling and it was mesmerising to watch, whatever the situation, he could craft it into a toe-tappingly good country song. On the 26th August, the day of the release of his latest album, Lauderdale took to the stage of the Grand Ole Opry to share his blend of classic country sounds with a modern country flair that dominates his 35th studio album ‘Game Changer’.
“Every time I play at the Opry, it’s always so meaningful,” Lauderdale begins. “It had been a dream of mine to play there for years, Ralph Stanly brought me on for the first time in 1998 and it just carries a lot of significance every time since I played there first and it means so much to me.” Since 1986, Lauderdale has been releasing albums himself whilst having a string of songs recorded by the likes of George Strait, Gary Allan, Elvis Costello, Blake Shelton, the Dixie Chicks, Vince Gill, and Patty Loveless.
He’s such a well respected wordsmith within the genre and it’s a side of his career he’s very proud of as he reflects fondly on his favourite tunes other people have made successful. “The two that come to mind are “King of Broken Hearts” which George Strait cut and put on the Pure Country soundtrack which was a big break for me as a songwriter and “You Don’t Seem to Miss Me” that Patty Loveless and George Jones recorded which always gets me emotional when I hear it.”
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