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Rootsy Summer Sessions: Jim Lauderdale

Apr 3, 2024


This week, we bring you a brand-new installment of our Rootsy Summer Sessions, which were shot last year in gorgeous Falkenberg, Sweden, during Rootsy Summer Fest ’23. The videography team behind I Know We Should set aside time during the summertime roots music festival with Nashville renaissance man, Americana magnate, and hit songwriter Jim Lauderdale while on his trip to Scandinavia.

For his first performance, he performs “The Road Is a River,” a song from his 2018 album, Time Flies, in an adorable local music store, Liljedahls Musik. Joined by his band, including recording artist and fiddler Lillie Mae, guitarists Craig Smith and Frank Carter Rische, Jay D. Weaver on bass, and Dave Racine on drums, they cheerfully lope through the darker tinges of the song, harmonizing in three parts on the track’s foreboding and certainly apocalyptic lyrics. “The Road Is a River” demonstrates the ease with which Lauderdale combines styles, textures, and sonics with his deep understanding of history and a literary reckoning with the machinations of the earth – natural and unnatural.

The second song selection, “Sister Horizon,” brings forward the rambling, troubadour qualities evident in Lauderdale’s work. It’s clear this ensemble is having fun, swapping smiles as often as licks and harmonies, singing in worshipful tones of “Sister Horizon” and text painting in evocative and striking tones. With a sly smile, Lauderdale makes eye contact with the lens, a fourth wall breaking that seems to draw on the fantastic, storybook qualities of the track. His vocal phrasing, iconically lazy and languid, lingers delightfully on each word in a wonky and unpredictable way – one of the most exciting and engaging parts of Lauderdale’s singing over time.

Even in this context, with a “full band” lineup, the stripped down, Tiny Desk quality of these sessions is striking. Lauderdale is comfortable in so many musical setups and that comfort comes through in both of these exclusive video performances.

Stay tuned for more Rootsy Summer Sessions coming soon right here, on BGS!

Video Credit: Brad Wagner,Β I Know We Should
Audio Credit: Juan Soria, I Know We Should

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Rootsy Summer Sessions: Jim Lauderdale
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