Buddy Miller & Jim Lauderdale: Buddy and Jim

New West

Two of the top Americana guys, Jim Lauderdale and Buddy Miller (former roommates and ongoing collaborators) finally get together and make an official duet album, and expectations are high. So are the results. Both Lauderdale and Miller have etched out distinctive places in the music world, and their mutual comfort and confidence in each other's abilities makes for a good time. The guys take turns singing lead and harmonize like brothers, turning a funky Joe Tex tune ("I Want to Do Everything for You") into a honky-tonker, then laying out a Julie Miller-penned heartbreaker ("It Hurts Me"). In this case, it's hard to say that it's greater than the sum of its parts, because the parts are so dang good to begin with. (5 out of 5 stars)