Buddy Miller and Jim Lauderdale made proficiency look easy Wednesday at a crowded Lincoln Hall. The Nashville outlaws and longtime friends staged a clinic in mixing country, R&B, rockabilly and other Americana-related styles on tunes notable for their simplicity and familiarity. In between songs, the duo exchanged comedic banter and stories, reinforcing a casual modesty that gave the 95-minute concert the laidback feeling of a private back-porch session.
While they've known one another for decades and live only blocks away from each other, the pair long remained too busy with their own schedules to partner together for an album or tour. In addition to maintaining a solo career, Miller reigns as one of the industry's top producers and session guitarists, working with luminaries such as Robert Plant. No stranger to the studio, Lauderdale is better recognized as an ace songwriter that penned originals for the likes of the Dixie Chicks and Solomon Burke. The genesis for their recent collaborative debut, aptly titled "Buddy and Jim," stemmed from their roles as hosts of a satellite radio program.