Often covered by other country artists, singer/songwriter Jim Lauderdale has put together a sterling collection of stone country originals here, and he nails every one of them.

Often covered by other country artists, singer/songwriter Jim Lauderdale has put together a sterling collection of stone country originals here, and he nails every one of them. Sessions finds Lauderdale pairing with some of Nashville's best, including such country gold stalwarts as Frank Dycus, Harlan Howard, Melba Montgomery, Kostas, and others. "If I Were You" is an aw-shucks shuffle, and the killer ballad "I'd Follow You Anywhere" would've been a monster hit in 1962—and should be one now. Such gems as "What's on My Mind," "Merle World," and "Born Believers" are loaded with attitude and just too country for words. Similarly, "Diesel, Diesel, Diesel" and "Honky Tonk Haze" are instant classics in their niches, truck drivin' and drinkin' songs, respectively. Perhaps the best testament to the authenticity of these songs is that George Jones could sing the hell out of any one of them, but Lauderdale himself is more than up to the task.—RW

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