It shouldn’t take an act of God to bring Jim Lauderdale back to hardcore traditional country; but when 32 inches of rain fell on South Texas, flooding the Brazos River, the double Grammy winner found himself with cancelled Lone Star dates, time on his hands and a stockpile of his classic country songs that fit together. Rather than scrap the trip, the affable North Carolina born and raised songwriter/Americana icon conferred with steel player/producer/friend Tommy Detamore and drummer/longtime friend Tom Lewis– and realized all his Texas bandmates were available.
“I thought it might be now or never,” laughs the prolific Lauderdale, who’s collaborated with Dr. Ralph Stanley, Buddy Miller, Buddy Miller, Elvis Costello, Robert Hunter, Donna the Buffalo, Rodney Crowell and the North Mississippi All Stars. “They’d been saying you need to come down here and make a record, but other things kept coming up. Suddenly, my schedule was open – and that’s right where I was supposed to be.”
It’s been a few years since Lauderdale focused on the hard stuff of North Hollywood’s Palomino Club – after sojourns into bluegrass, Southern soul, jam band bursts, lean rock and yes, Americana. Divine intervention or not, This Changes Everything shows Lauderdale as one of the dynamic forces who’s shaped the last thirty years of modern country – including 14 George Strait cuts (“Where The Sidewalk Ends,” “Don’t Make Me Come Over There,” “We Shouldn’t Be Doing This,” which appears here), a Patty Loveless/George Jones CMA Awards winner (“You Don’t Seem To Miss Me”), a Mark Chesnutt chart-topper (“Gotta Get A Life”) and a Dixie Chicks raver (“Hole In My Head”). – as well as this thing they call “Americana.”