ATN's Ben Edmonds reports: When roots rocker Jim Lauderdale set out to record
his just released CD Every Second Counts -- the follow up to the
critically hosanna'd 1994 release Pretty Close to the Truth -- he
didn't have the songs but he had a plan. "My co-producer Dusty Wakeman owns
some cabins in Pioneertown in what they call the 'high desert' of California,
not far from Joshua Tree," the singer- songwriter explained. "I love that
area, and actually wrote some of the last album there. I wanted to take it a
step further this time."
Pioneertown was a movie set town built by Roy Rogers and Gene Autry to
facilitate shooting their westerns of the '30s and '40s. The area is
imprinted on boomer consciousness as the sagebrush vista across which rode
the Cisco Kid every Saturday morning. Lauderdale and company pulled a mobile
recording unit into a barn that had doubled as a sound stage, set up and let
it rip. "I only had two or three songs finished when we started, " remembers
Lauderdale, "but that high desert atmosphere inspires so much in me that they
other songs just came tumbling out. It was almost mystical."
Mystical is probably not the best adjective to describe the resulting
Every Second Counts , but its amalgam of honky-tonk country, barroom
rock, and almost Beatlesque melodicism and the passion of soul music is
certainly unique. Though his songs have become huge country hits for such
performers as Mark Chestnutt and Patti Loveless, Lauderdale doesn't really
belong in the country section either. Anything upon which Spin and
Rolling Stone can agree has got to be beyond category.
"My stuff usually gets filed under country," Lauderdale says with a vocal
shrug. "But I don't really care what bin you put me in, as long as I'm
somewhere in the store."