Jim Lauderdale is considered by many astute judges to be one of country music’s greatest songwriters.
The highly engaging showman and ‘King of Broken Hearts’ is also without question, a poster-person for perseverance.
The writer of hit songs for the likes of George Strait, Vince Gill, the Dixie Chicks and Gary Allan endured decades of setbacks before eventually becoming a two-time Grammy winner as a recording artist.
He also went on to become one of the pioneers of the Americana format, having collaborated with the likes of Rodney Crowell, Elvis Costello, Ralph Stanley and Robert Hunter, who recently passed away.
“Rejection and disappointment are bound to happen at some point” says the legendary storyteller and honky tonk hero.
“And you just have to work through it.”
“Like in martial arts, at some point you are going to get hit,” he continues.
“And as discouraging as things might be, you have to accept that punch and keep going.”
Lauderdale recalls his early days in Nashville, trying to get recording and publishing deals.
“I like it, but it’s not a hit. What else have you got?” was the common response to the songs he presented.
Watch Jim Lauderdale perform ‘King Of Broken Hearts’
When he finally got a record deal in the early 90s, he endured a different kind of problem.
While many of the songs he wrote for other artists were cutting through on country radio, his releases weren’t getting the same level of support.
And in what was a “radio or bust” environment, this more than tested his resolve.
The ensuing album release delays and record label movement made it difficult for Lauderdale to establish a strong live following.
In fact, throughout the 90s, he had four different major label deals.
But rather than turning to drugs and alcohol as a long-term coping mechanism, he ultimately adopted mediation and Chinese martial arts.
“I do Tai-chi a lot and Qigong. And I go to China at least once a year. I’ve been doing that since about 1994,” he told us in an upcoming episode of the Tone Countrycast.
“I thought, as I get older I want to get healthier, better and stronger.”
“That’s one of the cool things about that whole system. As you get older you can actually improve in so many ways.”
Lauderdale’s graceful material arts moves are in full display in his music video for ‘Listen,’ which was released earlier this year.
Check out ‘Listen’ by Jim Lauderdale
Of the 32 albums he’s recorded, Lauderdale has released seven of them in the past five years.
And there won’t be slowing down on that front.
He plans to release more music and increase his touring schedule in the coming years.
He has just arrived in Australia to perform his shows in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne in support of his latest album, From Another World.
The special guest at each show will be APRA Professional Development Award winner Imogen Clark.
Lauderdale will also perform at the Out On The Weekend festival in Williamstown this weekend.
Listen to Episode #4 of the Tone Countrycast featuring Jim Lauderdale
Jim Lauderdale – From Another World Tour
Plus special guest Imogen Clark
Friday October 11th
The Landsdowne, Sydney NSW
Saturday October 12th
Out On The Weekend
Seaworks, Williamstown VIC
Sunday October 13th
Caravan Music Club, Melbourne VIC
Tuesday October 15th
Spotted Mallard, Melbourne VIC
Thursday October 17th
The Tivoli, Brisbane