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Patchwork River CD

4.6 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Audio CD, CD, May 11, 2010
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Editorial Reviews

Patchwork can refer to a collection of incongruous pieces, parts not necessarily united into a whole. But sometimes, in the hands of great craftsmen and women, those parts merge into a thing of beauty and warmth. Patchwork River weaves together the lyrical mastery of Robert Hunter (Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan) and the songcraft of Grammy Award-winning artist Jim Lauderdale into something greater than the sum of its considerable parts.


Jim is doing it the slow way. He never got the lucky breaks that shoot one performer to the top while hundreds of equal or greater merit slog around playing bars, releasing streetwise records that provide songs for others to cover. But doing it the hard way is where soul comes from, not the manufactured kind but the real thing. We all know this by heart, we ve seen the movie. Well, Jim is a movie of his own. I m proud to call him a friend and I know what I say is true. This man has what it takes. If you don t like country with a humble jolt of human soul, leave him alone. - Robert Hunter on Jim Lauderdale

Robert has been a master for a long time now. He s one of the greatest writers that has ever lived in my book. He says things in songs that have never been said before. He paints pictures that have never been seen. I can t believe that I ever got to meet him, much less work with him. He s a world class genius. Jim Lauderdale on Robert Hunter
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 11, 2010)
  • Original Release Date: May 11, 2010
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Thirty Tigers
  • Run Time: 50 minutes
  • ASIN: B003E1QCK4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #196,440 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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Everything that is stated in the product description is true. I am so glad that Jim Lauderdale and Robert Hunter continue to work together. Jim Lauderdale is a very prolific artist with a wide range of styles and a very high quality standard. I believe he does Hunter the most justice. He is one of the greatest songwriters on his own, and it is a dream to see him making such delightful albums with Hunter.

Unlike Headed for the Hills, this album has hard country rock (Patchwork River), motownish-stuff (Louisville Roll and Good Together), Mississippi swamp-funk (Jawbone), a Neil Young style country ballad (Tall Eyes), catchy old-style country (Turn To Stone), and a lot more! I've only had the album a few days, so I haven't fully explored everything yet. All of the lyrics I have heard a very intriguing, and come from those special places that Hunter is so good at finding.

Standout tracks to me include: Patchwork River, Good Together, Louisville Roll, Turn to Stone, Alligator Alley, and Up My Sleeve. I hope that these two masters continue to work together long into the future. This is my favorite album to come along in a quite a while.
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Jim Lauderdale has been regarded as a singer's singer with artistic integrity for a long time. I have listened to most of his records and think he has created his best work with Patchwork River. To give you points of reference, this music calls to mind Workingman's Dead, Tupelo Honey, The Band, and a handful of other classics that always sound fresh and vital no matter how often you hear them. This is not to say that this record sounds like or imitates any of them, just that it resonates like them. He draws on many streams of American music to create an American classic for the ages. I bet it sounds fresh 40 years from now. Listen to some samples and you will hear what I mean.
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Grateful Dead fans are certainly familiar with Robert Hunter's song writing as he wrote and co-wrote many a song in the Dead catalog. Those who are familiar with Jim Lauderdale know that he is a versatile and talented musician and song writer. Fortunately these two guys have found they work extremely well together and have put out several albums, this probably their best. While this album is primarily a very strong country-rock album with outstanding guitar riffs and musicianship throughout, a few pure country tunes are seamlessly blended in. Jim is particularly adept at blending different sounding tunes into a coherent piece of work. I've nearly worn the cd out in a couple of months replaying it. This one gets my highest recommendation. Give it a spin.
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Among other things this is a great rock'n'roll record. Half of the songs are uptempo rockers, and Lauderdale and company delve into a number of styles as they rock, including a nice Memphis feel on a couple of songs. Lauderdale always attracts great musicians to work with him and this album is no exception: the leaed guitarists include James Burton and Kenny Vaughan. The album is the second collaboration between Lauderdale and Robert Hunter, but the first album was pretty much all acoustic (only one conspicuously electric song) while this album sounds like it could have been recorded in Muscle Shoals or Memphis.
The songs are great. As with the earlier collaboration, Lauderdale and Hunter create a world peopled by southern folkloric figures, almost like tales from Uncle Remus. This is definitely my favorite album of 2010 up to this point.
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The second collaboration between Jim Lauderdale and Robert Hunter is a magnificent example of what brilliant artists can accomplish when they get together. Their first collaboration, Headed For The Hills, was a bluegrass oriented release. Patchwork River has a mix of country, blues, R&B. The music, Lauderdale's voice and Hunter's imaginative lyrics provide for a great listening experience. Hopefully this is not the last time these two artists will collaborate. I hope this release can gain steam and be heard by a wider audience. Get the word out!
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I love Lauderdale but this one, just crushes ya.. not a lotta records that are newer recordings can take you back to somewhere you often dream and wish you where there.."Eldorado" for starters.if there is another more original or honest sound than this record,I want to here it.I have a feeling that R.Hunter believes this is what he writes best. buddy miller IS the most underated guitar player ever. yes,ask Robert Plant.so many incredible artist like Jim L. and people like Tim O'Brien are so rich with passion and song,I feel sorry for those who are left out,I really do..
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I first came across Jim Lauderdale on Tab Benoit's Brother to the Blues. He had written two great songs on that album. I then bought his Country Super Hits album which is great although I don't think there are any chart hits on it. This latest Patchwork River is as good. Carefully crafted melodies that sound like classics even on first hearing. He could be the best country singer today.
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The title song gets this great album off to a fantastic start, and what follows is a strong eclectic mix of mellow to mainstream country, Americana, and funky soft rock. I like it more than their first (more homogeneous bluegrass/old country) recording, and it combines Hunter's trade-mark expressive, expansive and descriptive lyrics and Lauderdale's heartfelt, smooth vocals with top notch musicianship/production throughout.

Yet, not to be too critical, it has some flaws - the lack of printed lyrics is obvious, the slip-case packaging is another (I hate having to grab/handle the CD's surface with my fingers to pull it out). On a musical level some of the lyrics and melodies verge on corny and predictable, but Hunter has always been able to pull this off, and while Lauderdale isn't as subtle as Garcia at finding a complimentary melody, he comes up with a pleasant variety of tunes. Lauderdale's vocals sound strong and a bit different (more relaxed and versatile) than I've heard him before, at times sounding like Dr John, Jackie Greene, and even Van Morrison! But this isn't in any way a derivative recording - it is a fruitful and fresh sounding collaboration from two of the best American songwriters, and highly recommended.

"Heard Joe Farmer say, If I may
Serve you breakfast on a supper tray
Got no eggs but I saved some shell
Lost the clapper but I found the bell."
- Patchwork River -
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