With over 30 years' close personal and musical friendship, Buddy Miller and Jim Lauderdale marry their stellar talents to perform uninhibited on this celebratory Country album. Miller's production and multi-instrumental dowry has added perfectly to the attraction of Lauderdale's song-writing as well as sweet vocal harmonising with Buddy's gruffer register. This is showcased beautifully on the co-written lament 'That's Not Even Why I Love You', and Miller's signature echoed guitar-work layers its hurt with the pedal steel in another empathetic bonding. There is similar sadness in fifth track, the wonderful Julie Miller penned 'It Hurts Me', and these two ballads are the charming if melancholic offerings in an otherwise more musically upbeat set of eleven songs.
Opener 'I Lost My Job of Loving You' is hardly upbeat in storytelling, but it is one of the grungier cuts, echoing the Americana grit of Steve Earle. It's second track, Doc Watson's 'The Train That Carried My Gal From Town', where the Country roots start to show, train-whistle fiddle and near-yodel harmonies taking us back in musical time. There's similar in fourth with Bobby Charles' 'Down South in New Orleans', Miller getting some gutsy twang from his guitar licks. The guys ratchet up the fun-factor with sixth track 'Vampire Girl' where the pedal and fiddle hold their own glorious dueling. By now, the album has taken this more uptempo and traditional route, eighth Mississippi Sheiks' 'Lonely One In This Town' getting an Old Crow Medicine Show work-out. It's clearly party time after the wedding. The shindig is confirmed, but with a reprise of the Buddy Miller, Julie Miller and Jim Lauderdale song 'Looking for a Heartache Like You', first recorded in 1999 on Buddy Miller's album 'Cruel Moon'. The album ends like any good wedding party's closing with some riotous rockabilly dad-dancing to 'The Wobble'.
Somehow it must have been written in the stars that these two gentlemen of the alt. scene were to record an album together. At 34 minutes it is indeed a short collaboration but one that covers a broad spectrum. Rock, Bluegrass, Country, tearjerkers and Rumba (!). Despite all these different genres the CD flows smoothly and hangs together very well. Neither Buddy Miller nor Jim Lauderdale should need further introduction. Miller's the player and producer of many alt. country pearls while Lauderdale is more or less the Bluegrass specialist. Julie, Buddy's wife also contributes a song and two co-writes. There's not a bad song on this and it's a true pleasure to hear these two wonderful artists together. Buy and enjoy!