Very few people can write a classic country love song like Jim Lauderdale. For decades, he has opened his heart and gifted the world romantic gems from the cheeky (‘Don’t Make Me Come Over There And Love You’) to the devastating (‘You Don’t Seem To Miss Me’) to the gorgeously sincere (‘Whisper’). In celebration of Valentine’s Day, Lauderdale has released ‘For Keeps’, a brand new celebration of everlasting love and the first taste of new music coming this year from the 2-time Grammy winning singer-songwriter.
‘For Keeps’ is a co-write between Jim, acclaimed emerging Americana star Logan Ledger and country legend Melba Montgomery, famed for her classic duets with George Jones, like ‘We Must Have Been Out of Our Minds’, which she wrote. The melding of the minds between three generations of great tunesmiths produced a song that honours the history of country music while being deeply personal at its core.
‘Logan and I are both huge fans of Melba, and I’ve been lucky enough to write with her over the years,’ Jim recalls. ‘When we all got together for the first time, the magic just flowed. Melba was talking about her late husband Jack and how when she met him, they had this special thing and she just knew that is was for keeps. When she said that, I instantly knew it was a great hook for a real traditional country love song. I wanted to write a song that we could’ve pitched to George Jones. I really want to keep that real country sound alive’.
The track, co-produced by Jim and Jay Weaver and engineered by David Leonard (Purple Rain), is drenched in the sounds of classic country that Lauderdale has carried forward and championed throughout his career, even as he has expanded the boundaries of Americana music more and more. The song features stunning harmonies from Third Man Records star Lillie Mae and her brother Frank Rische, aching pedal steel licks from the great Russ Pahl and a tender lead vocal from Jim that conjures the ghosts of legends like Jones and Haggard.