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Jim Lauderdale, ‘Soul Searching’

The latest from Grammy-winning artist/songwriter Jim Lauderdale is a double-album of original songs offering two takes on soul music: On Disc 1, Lauderdale went to Memphis to make a classic soul album recorded by the great Lawrence “Boo” Mitchell at Royal Studios. Recording/mix engineer Leslie Richter calls Disc 2 “pseudo psychedelic social commentary country music”; it features more roomy guitar sounds (and no horns), and was tracked in RCA Studio A in Nashville.

“Everybody was on the floor together,” Richter says. “I had Jim behind a baffle playing and singing at the same time. The bass amp was open in the room next to the drums, and I put the guitar amp [miked with an AEA R84] in a little hut so it was sort of isolated. I actually had two mics in that hut because I wasn’t sure if we were going to have one electric guitar or two. That ended up benig a blessing in disguise; I ended up using quite a bit of the second mic [an AEA R92] as a room mic, for space and effects, instead of having to create that in the mix.”

Lauderdale sang into a Shure SM5 during tracking, but Richter put up a Neumann U 47 in House of Blues Studios for his vocal overdubs on the Disc 2. She also recorded some of his final vocals for Disc 1, and for that session she used an RCA 77, deferring to the choices that Mitchell had made in Memphis: “On some songs we used an MCI JH536 pre from our desk, a vintage AKG 414, and an original Teletronics LA2A,” Mitchell says. “But on others we used the MCI pre’s, an original Universal Audio 1176 , and Microphone Number 9, the RCA 77 DX that Al Green sang all of his classics on.”