It wasn’t the quantity of the crowd expected on Thursday night to welcome Jim Lauderdale to The Music Box Supper Club concert hall, but the Americana icon delivered a stunning twenty-eight song performance to give the diehard fans more than their monies worth.
In many households, the Grammy Award winning Lauderdale is still an unknown performer with twenty-six releases, hosting radio show on Sirius XM Outlaw Country channel, and hosting the Music City Roots live broadcast heard on Nashville’s 94.5 FM along with streaming online around the world. He has sung or written songs with a diverse group of artists from George Jones, Solomon Burke, Georeg Strait, Elvis Costello, Nick Lowe, Robert Hunter, and Dr. Ralph Stanley. He’s even acted on stage, as Lauderdale reminisced about how he spent time in Cleveland acting in Pump Boys and Dinettes at Playhouse Square along with performing in the play Diamond Studs with Shawn Colvin. I’ve had the opportunity to see Lauderdale perform with a variety of musicians including Buddy Miller during the Americana Music Association festivities over the years and have attended the AMA Honor and Awards Show at The Ryman Auditorium which is hosted by non-other than Mr. Lauderdale.
It was an added treat to have Lauderdale bring along a fine country western band to back him featuring Craig Smith on the Fender Telecaster, Gary Morse on pedal steel, Jay Weaver on bass, and John Mctigue III on the sticks. Walking out in a royal blue rhinestone western leisure outfit, Lauderdale took the stage with his acoustic guitar and broke into “Life By The Numbers “. He performed a heavy load from his latest record I’m A Song including the slow country waltz “You've Got A Way All Yours” as well as favorites like “Patchwork River”, “Why Do I Love You”, “Tiger and The Monkey”, and “Lost in the Lonesome Pines”. Sandwiched between two songs written with Buddy Miller “I Lost My Job” and “Hole in my Head”, Lauderdale sang his tribute song to George Jones and Gram Parsons that forever became his moniker.
Opening the evening was local singer/songwriter Ryan Humbert accompanied by his long time vocalist Emily Bates who delivered an entertaining eleven song selection featuring mostly songs from his last two albums Sometimes The Game Plays You and Half Way Home which were recorded in Nashville. Highlights included “Radio Jesus” that was inspired from channel surfing while driving in the middle of the night and the standard “Tonight You Belong To Me” performed in the open air of the concert hall.
Photos by Ken Dixon