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Buddy and Jim

Buddy Miller and Jim Lauderdale New West Records

Friendship is at the heart of one of the best albums of the year.

Brother-acts like the Louvins, the Everlys, the Delmores, and others have created some of our most memorable music, but every once in awhile that same kind of intuitive harmony exists between close friends like Buddy Miller and Jim Lauderdale.

Long embraced as two of Nashville’s most beloved singer-songwriters, the pair have been singing together more than thirty years and have now joined forces to create Buddy and Jim, a collection of perfectly produced gems that explores the highs and lows of love and continues the long tradition of male duet acts. Produced by Grammy winner Miller, the record contains a track list that juxtaposes playful songs of joy right against mournful tunes of longing.

Miller is a multi-instrumentalist, an acclaimed singer-songwriter, and has become one of the most sought-after producers in the business, producing widely praised albums by Solomon Burke, Patty Griffin, Carolina Chocolate Drops, and music from the hit television show “Nashville”. Two-time Grammy winner Lauderdale is one of the top songwriters in the industry, with songs recorded by some of the most recognizable names in music, and has a rabid cult following of his own music. The two met on the New York City music scene in the 1980s and have collaborated ever since. These days they’re even co-hosting a popular radio show on Sirius XM Outlaw Radio. For the last couple decades they’ve flirted with the idea of doing a record together, and have finally made it happen.

When the opportunity arose, they didn’t waste any time. The album was recorded in three days, although Miller laughs that “it sounds more like it took four.” He mixed the record in just two days. Despite the short timeframe, the album does not lack in depth. In fact, Miller believes that the quick turnaround preserved some of the energy that happened in the studio. “I don’t like to over-think or second guess,” he says. “I don’t want things to be able to mold over for long periods.”

Lauderdale says Miller succeeded. “The magic is preserved,” he says. “That’s why he’s one of the best producers today.” But Lauderdale also acknowledges that their long friendship is the main reason that the album works. “We’ve known each other for so long, done harmony for so long, that our voices fit really well together, and we have a good intuitive feel for each other. And we also manage to show our influences while also making it our own.”

That sound somehow manages to strike the balance of being retro and completely new at the same time by paying homage to influences like Sam and Dave or Johnnie and Jack while also bearing the stamp of two artists who have firmly established their signature sounds.




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