Jim Lauderdale - Headed for the Hills
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Headed for the Hills (Dualtone, 2004)

Jim Lauderdale

Reviewed by Rick Bell

Jim Lauderdale's latest record has the potential to slip into what's becoming a genre of its own: dull, monotonous acoustic music so stripped down that by the fifth song you're pining for Shania Twain.

The title alone is a tipoff this is going to be a very acoustic record. While it is just down off the mountain, Lauderdale and songwriting partner and Grateful dead lyricist Robert Hunter (who does not appear on the 13-song disc) shift gears often enough to stave off the boredom. Lauderdale's guests - a list that includes Allison Moorer, Emmylou Harris, Tim O'Brien and Gillian Welch - also keep it lively.

Lauderdale and Moorer misfire a couple times but really bring it home with the duet "Head for the Sun," while the waltz "High Timberline" is a vocal dream with Harris on high harmonies topping O'Brien's fluid mandolin.

This album adds to Lauderdale's legacy as one of country's best songwriters, but also shows off his collaborative abilities - in the studio for sure, but on the sheet music too. Lauderdale and Hunter take mountain music to reasonable heights - not an easy task these days.

CDs by Jim Lauderdale

Hope, 2021 When Carolina Comes Homes Again, 2020 From Another World, 2019 Time Flies, 2018 This Changes Everything, 2016 Soul Searching, 2015 I'm A Song, 2014 Blue Moon Junction, 2013 Old Time Angels, 2013 Carolina Moonrise: Bluegrass Songs by Robert Hunter and Jim Lauderdale, 2012 Reason and Rhyme, 2011 Patchwork River, 2010 Honey Songs, 2008 The Bluegrass Diaries, 2007 Bluegrass, 2006 Country Super Hits! Vol 1, 2006

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