Jim Lauderdale is one of the great characters of Americana music, a tai chi master who writes hits for George Strait and Patty Loveless, makes bluegrass albums with Ralph Stanley, plays in Elvis Costello’s band, hosts Music City Roots, and generally seems to show up wherever credible, authentic roots music is being made.
But you don’t have to be a Jim Lauderdale fan to appreciate Jim Lauderdale: The King of Broken Hearts, the new documentary project by Seven Shells Media. Rather, you don’t have to be a fan when you start watching: Like any good story well told, it will draw you in and win you over by the final credits. Having recently screened the 45 minute version now airing on the Country Music Channel in Australia, I’m eager to see this project expanded and made available worldwide.
Luckily, that’s just the intention of creator and director Jeremy Dylan – in the interest of full disclosure, a longtime reader and supporter of this site. Personal dealings aside, it’s hard to imagine not being enthusiastic about a classy, independent project featuring folks like Buddy Miller, Randy Kohrs, Tony Brown, Jerry Douglas, Odie Blackmon, and Gary Allan telling stories on a real-life character they’ve come to know. This isn’t the type of film that will be a big moneymaker for anyone involved, which really only leaves passion – for Lauderdale, for good stories, for music – as the motivating factor.
Mr. Dylan is looking to extend the documentary to feature-length, filling in even more of the details of Jim’s life through additional interviews and shooting. In order to make this possible, he’s crowd-funding the extended documentary through IndieGoGo, which is like a less all-or-nothing version of Kickstarter. The difference with IndieGoGo is that your contribution will be of help regardless of whether the page hits its ultimate funding goal. Donations and perks start at the very reasonable level of $5 for an HD download of the finished film (I contributed at this level), continuing all the way up to a $600 package that includes – among other things – a ticket to the Americana Music Festival, two passes to the film’s premiere, your name in the credits, and a personal meeting with Lauderdale himself.
If this sounds like something you’ll be curious to check out when it’s done, consider kicking in whatever you can now to help it get there. More information and a film trailer at the link below.
Next up: Tony Brown on Jim Lauderdale and the Pure Country soundtrack in an exclusive interview extract from Jeremy Dylan and Seven Shells Media.