Songwriter and vocalist Jim Lauderdale's second pairing with bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley retains much of the vitality of 1999's I Feel Like Singing Today, and if anything, the duo seems to have become more comfortable working together on Lost in the Lonesome Pines. One can only imagine the jitters Lauderdale must have felt working in the studio with one of American music's true treasures, so the hints of apprehension revealed in the cracks of the earlier album have been brushed away, and the two sound like old pals sitting on a sunlit porch trading songs and licks. The gruff sentimentality in Lauderdale's lead vocals provide the perfect canvas for Ralph Stanley's high lonesome tenor to color, echoing the close harmonies of the Stanley Brothers from 50 years earlier. In many ways, this album is reminiscent of the spectacular collaboration between Steve Earle and Del McCoury on The Mountain; both albums paired a respected maverick singer/songwriter with a legendary bluegrass figure, and the results on both are not quite bluegrass and not quite contemporary folk, but both feel just about right.
Lost in the Lonesome Pines Review
by Zac Johnson