Only 11 more days until Cavefest. It’s just a short road trip to Pelham Tennessee from Nashville and you can camp there and enjoy a great weekend of music. So get your tickets HERE. Today’s Cavefest Artist Spotlight is the amazing Jim Lauderdale. Considered a “songwriter’s songwriter,” Lauderdale’s songs have been recorded by dozens of artists, includingy George Strait, Gary Allan, Elvis Costello, Blake Shelton, the Dixie Chicks, Vince Gill, Patty Loveless and more. He’s released 31 studio albums, including collaborations with artists such as Dr. Ralph Stanley, Buddy Miller, and Donna the Buffalo.
Lauderdale grew up in Due West, South Carolina. Both of his parents were singers. He too sang in his early years, and learned the drums at 11, the harmonica at 13, and the banjo at 15. He has cited the influence of Ralph Stanley and bluegrass music from an early age. He played a variety of music, including bluegrass, Grateful Dead, and folk in a duo with best friend Nathan Lajoie as a teenager. After graduating from college, Lauderdale lived in Nashville for five months in the summer of 1979 while he tried to get a recording or publishing deal. He hung out a lot with Roland White, an accomplished mandolin player, with whom he cut a record. But things never took off, so he decided to move to New York, where he played in Floyd Domino’s band and performed as a solo artist. In 1980 he met singer-songwriter Buddy Miller. He played in Miller’s band in the active twang music scene that was evolving at the time. Later Lauderdale got a publishing deal with Reprise and moved into the second floor of Buddy and Julie Miller’s house until he got his own place in Nashville.
In 2013, Lauderdale started his own record label, Sky Crunch, so that he could release his many albums on a schedule that suited him. Lauderdale wrote and produced two bluegrass records with Ralph Stanley. Their first collaboration, I Feel Like Singing Today, was nominated for a Grammy.
Lauderdale has hosted the Americana Music Awards since winning their first Artist of the Year and Song of the Year awards in 2002. He was a judge for the second, 10th and 11th annual Independent Music Awards to support independent artists’ careers. He is Honorary Chairperson for the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest each April at MerleFest in Wilkesboro, NC.
He hosted “The Jim Lauderdale Show” on WSM Radio. He hosts, along with Buddy Miller, “The Buddy & Jim Show” on SiriusXM Outlaw Country. You might also remember Lauderdale as a frequent host and performer on “Music City Roots”, a weekly Americana music show that was once web-streamed live from The Factory at Franklin just outside Nashville.
We could go on and on but if you’ve never seen him live you are in for a treat at Cavefest. See you there!