From Grand Ole Opry to Greystones

Americana singer-songwriter Jim Lauderdale
Americana singer-songwriter Jim Lauderdale

Just a couple of weeks ago Jim Lauderdale was performing at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville.

The singer, songwriter and musician has a track record over 30 years that more than qualifies him for visits to the home of country music.

Part of his broader appeal has been adapting his traditional approach with occasional elements of bluegrass, southern soul, R&B and rock.

So much so that he has been credited as a forerunner of what has become the catch-all Americana movement.

With a new album, London Southern, under his belt, the North Carolina-born performer is now on tour in the UK, including a solo date at the Greystones next Tuesday.

The album, his 29th, was recorded at Nick Lowe’s studios in London, which gives an idea of his enthusiasm for tweaking his country music background. The addition of trumpet and sax give some tracks a soulful edge and there is a first time use of strings.

His fruitful partnership with Buddy Miller resulted in an acclaimed album alongside their hosting of The Buddy & Jim Show on radio.

Elvis Costello is another prominent collaborator, along with George Strait, Lucinda Williams, John Oates, Lee Ann Womack, Shelby Lynne, Mary Chapin Carpenter, the Dixie Chicks, Vince Gill and Patty Loveless.

“Making London Southern was my first time recording in the London area,” said Lauderdale.

“It’s something I had wanted to do for a long time, but more important was getting to work with Nick Lowe’s band and with his co-producers Neil Brockbank and Bobby Irwin.

“I had been such a huge fan of Nick’s 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.”