Lauderdale - Stars Fell
If comparison is necessary for the reader, they sound like a cross between Lucero and The Drive By Truckers, but they do not imitate. ‘Dressed Like The Devil’ flashes country brilliance in the pedal steel wrapped around the emotive lyrics.
Originally formed as a 3-piece bar-room rock and roll band, Lauderdale has evolved into a 5-piece outfit with the ability to make full, lush-sounding records. Niles Lee provides the songs for the band, but this is more of a “band record” than the self-titled release from 2007. Along with Lee and drummer Patrick McDonald, the addition of Ben Tanner on keys and Daniel Stoddard on pedal steel and lead guitar gave the band the ability to build upon the sound that was envisioned for the first album, but they were not able to achieve Lee’s songs about relationships, both romantic and paternal, provide the backbone of the record. On the surface, the opening song Moving On starts the album off with a song that is seemingly about love lost, a lost family member, and learning how to cope when in all actuality it’s about dealing with the demons staring back at you in the mirror. “The Grant” and “Big Fish” explore the relationship of a father and son and the stories that the dad passed down to him. “At Night” is the bands first real push into odd soundscapes and chaos, a departure from the norm for them. Just a glimpse into the communal nature of the Shoals area music will reveal that Lauderdale members also perform with Dylan LeBlanc, The Alabama Shakes, Doc Dailey and Magnolia Devil, The Bear, Belle Adair, and The Pollies. This explains why Lauderdale has kept low key for the last year. That downtime gave Lauderdale the time to make the best record they could.