Highly regarded as both Jones-meets-Jagger, singer and powerful songwriter Jim Lauderdale has long had the respect of his peers while operating largely under the commercial radar.

Highly regarded as both Jones-meets-Jagger, singer and powerful songwriter Jim Lauderdale has long had the respect of his peers while operating largely under the commercial radar. That's a shame, because he's a huge talent and offers up a bright, optimistic effort here. "Midnight Will Become Day" and "There and Back Again" are hard-charging midtempos, while "I'm Happiest When I'm Moving" and "I Know Better Now" are languid, reverb-drenched ballads; "It's a Trap" is jazzy swing and "Jacob's Ladder" is backwoods funk. "Morning" is a likable, punchy ode to easing into one's day, and the title cut melds Allman-style guitars with Appalachian drive. "Rollin' the Dice" and "New Cascade" are roadhouse rock and spiritual bluegrass, respectively. Varied but always honestly and masterfully delivered, Lauderdale has constructed another keeper.—RW

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