Thursday, September 20, 2012

Live: Jim Lauderdale at Madison Sq Park 9.15.12

Despite its far too close proximity to the place where I work hard for the money (so hard for it, honey), Madison Park has been good for the free music alternatives this year. I've seen pretty aces shows from Jon Langford and Alejandro Escovedo and the prospect of Jim Lauderdale closing the season seemed well worth  the ride uptown on a day off.

While I am prone to enjoying the haterade when it comes to the country stars of today, it is small consolation to my jaded ass that guys like Marty Stuart and Jim Lauderdale will still rock a Nudie suit and Gram Parsons haircut in 2012. I'm sure there is some execrable asshole who is Cowboy Troy-ing it up in that sacred raiment as I type this, but dollars to donuts that joker isn't a quarter of what Jim Lauderdale is on his worst day. His collaborations with Robert Hunter have drawn most of the attention to him for the average punter in recent years, as has his work with Donna The Buffalo and Dr. Ralph Stanley, but Lauderdale earns a comfortable living from the songs he has written for most of the country stars of yesterday and today.

This afternoon set featured a four piece backing band comprised of the usual Nashville suspects from both sides of the recording desk for his last couple records, featuring guitar/bass/dobro/fiddle and a bumper crop of great tunes. A pretty decent amount of the new Hunter bluegrass collabo Reason And Rhyme made its way into the hour or so set, along with a pretty good cross-section of his strongest stuff from the last couple decades. No Persimmons, sadly, but Lauderdale is an old hand at the live game and worked the crowd masterfully whether singing or working the not-inconsiderable crowd. I bet he and his merry men were on their way to the airport for Nashville before I got back to the L.E.S, but the picking and grinning all around certainly made it seem like our heroes were having a good time of it.

Jim will be out on the road behind Reason And Rhyme for the foreseeable future. Keep track of wherer you can see him live here and look for a review of the new record at JS-NYC soonish.


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