Proper Records [Release date 03.02.17]
Jim Lauderdale recently won a lifetime achievement award from the US Amerciana Honors & Awards and is widely respected amongst his contemporaries. He has written songs with George Strait, Elvis Costello, Buddy Miller and John Oates (who returns the favour co-writing and singing backing vocals on a couple of songs on this album). The album was recorded in Balham, London – hence the album title – and features Nick Lowe’s band, along with producer Neil Brockbank.
Don’t be fooled by opener ‘’Sweet Time’, a traditional country and western song, as the rest of the album is a musical potpourri taking in blues, soul, Americana and even a little gospel on ‘What Have You Got To Lose’, which features the McCrary Sisters. There is a reflective air on many of the songs, from the heartfelt ‘We’ve Only Got So Much Time Here’ and ‘I Love You More’. Nice bit of rock ‘n’ roll guitar on ‘No Right Way To Be Wrong’. Indeed the musicianship is top notch throughout the album and coupled with Jim Lauderdale’s vocals, makes for a very satisfying and enjoyable album. It is easy to see why on the strength of this album alone, why he is held in such high regard by fellow musicians and fans alike. ***1/2
Review by Jason Ritchie