December 14, 2012

G’day LA


Two most noticeable differences between Nashville and LA (aside from the temperament of the drivers) are height and sprawl.

Not that Nashville has no skyscrapers (anyone who’s visited will be familiar with the Batman building), but it’s not dominated by dazzling towers affixed with gigantic visages of animated rabbits, vodka and (this week) Gerard Butler.

Nashville is basically a larger than usual small town. From the hotel I stayed at downtown, it was no more than fifteen minutes walk in any direction to get me to the Ryman Auditorium, Bridgestone Arena (where I saw The Who last week!), Gruhn Guitars, The Station Inn, Cantina Laredo and the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

In LA, going pretty much anywhere from my hotel involves a $30 cab ride.

So with these differences in mind, and the general difference in temperament between the citizenries,  I was curious before our LA premiere: How differently would the film be received?

As often happens in early screenings of a film, seeing it played with an audience had given me insight into the pacing of the film. Some parts were playing slower than I had anticipated, some archival clips should be extended, some music cues held longer. Thankfully, there were a few days between the Nashville and LA screenings, so I had the opportunity to sit down at my laptop and rework the cut a little.

I ended up shaving off three and a half minutes over the course of the film and the difference was remarkable. Sitting in the crowd with Jim at the Grammy Museum’s Clive Davis Theater, the film seemed to move along much faster, and the moments I’d sensed attention waning in the earlier screening now held the audience to the screen.

After the film, Jim and I participated in a funny and moving Q&A (video coming soon) with Scott Goldman, Vice President of the Grammy Foundation and MusiCares. He and I were on our sartorial toes, given that we’d be sitting down the with the best dressed man in Americana music.

Jim and I talked about our “plans” for an upcoming feature film adaptation of his Grammy winning albumThe Bluegrass Diaries. A young blonde in the audience asked Jim if he was married yet. Two remarkable moments came out of the evening:

First, when Jim, talking about his 30+ year friendship with Buddy Miller, recalled the time a few years when Buddy was struck down with a heart attack and Jim feared he might lose him. He paused for a long moment in the middle of a sentence, and I could see he was fighting back tears.

Secondly, a woman in the crowd began to cry as she confessed she’d been dragged along to the screening by a friend, not knowing who Jim was was. After watching the film, she’d gained a huge appreciation for his music and felt so ashamed for her ignorance of his work.

And that is exactly the reason I made the film. Jim’s career has stretched over so many genres, labels, cities and years that he can go to Wilkesboro, NC for MerleFest and be treated like Neil Armstrong coming home from the moon, yet there are millions of people around the world who wouldn’t know his name. Some know the country hits that have come from his pen, but not the bluegrass albums that won him Grammys. They know his work with Elvis Costello, but not his radio show with Buddy Miller.

Trying to condense Jim’s talent, generosity, humor and career into 90 minutes has been a supreme challenge, but the reactions from the people who have come along to these two screenings makes me think I captured some of his spirit.


Thanks again to everybody who ventured out on a winter’s night to the Grammy Museum and to Michelle Aquilato, Lynne Sheridan, Scott Goldman and Amanda Hale-Ornelas for making this screening happen.

See you all on the LauderTrail as the film makes it way to a cinema, tv network, laptop or DVD player near you!

December 11, 2012

Dispatch from the world premiere


Buddy Miller, Jim Lauderdale, Michelle Aquilato and Jeremy Dylan. Backstage at Ford Theatre at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

So there we go. After a few days shy of two years of work, the film premiered last Saturday in front of a mix of Americana luminaries and everyday music fans in the beautiful Ford Theatre at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

It really was the world premiere too. I was tweaking the edit at 1am Saturday morning, so this was the first time that cut of the film had been screened outside of my hotel room. As I write this, I’m on a plane from Nashville to LA, making a few more tweaks before tomorrow night’s LA premiere at the Grammy Museum.

I was a great experience to sit up the back of the theatre with Jim and watch his face as he saw his life played out in front of him. I never would’ve said it to him while we were making the film, but as long as he thought the film did him justice, anything else was just a cherry on top of the cake. It was also a gas watching the back of the heads of the people in the crowd who are in the film, chuckling at archival footage of themselves from throughout the past 30 years.


We did a very fun post-screening Q&A with the wonderful Craig Havighurst, who has a few archival cameos in the film. Craig interrogated Jim and I on the inception of the film, some of the highlights of the production process and distribution plans going forward. We also had a few snappy questions from the crowd. There is video of the Q&A and I’ll hopefully have it up for you all to see sometime tomorrow.

Thanks again to everyone who came out for the screening. There’s no bigger kick for a filmmaker than experiencing your work with a great audience, hearing them laugh at the funny bits or bob their head along to the music. I couldn’t think of a better place to do our world premiere either. Jim is so much a part of the fabric of Nashville and so beloved by people there. And to do it at the very museum that features some of his award trophies and outfits in one of their exhibitions – it was, in a lot of ways, perfect.

So now onward and upward to the City of Angels for premiere number 2. Hope to see all you LA folks out in force for our 7.30 start.

December 6, 2012

Media Release: Jim Lauderdale documentary to premiere in Nashville and LA this month


A new 90-minute documentary film chronicling the life and times of Americana icon Jim Lauderdale will premiere with two special US screenings this month – Saturday December 8 at Nashville’s Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and Tuesday December 11 at the Grammy Museum in the L. A. Live district. Watch the trailer here.

Jim Lauderdale: The King of Broken Hearts tells the story of the two-time Grammy winner from his Carolina roots, honing his chops in the 80s country scenes of NY and LA, false starts and record company frustrations, before George Strait sold six million albums with two of his songs and catapulted Jim to the A-list of Nashville songwriters, penning hits for Patty Loveless, Gary Allan, the Dixie Chicks and more.

He pioneered the Americana sound and became the face of the genre, hosting the Americana Music Awards for over a decade and producing a prolific series of albums encompassing country, bluegrass, rock and soul that have won him critical acclaim and a devoted fanbase around the world.

Jim’s story is told through interviews with Jim, Buddy Miller, Elvis Costello, John Oates, Rodney Crowell, Gary Allan, Tony Brown, Randy Kohrs, Sunny Sweeney, Ketch Secor and more. It also features performances with his country and bluegrass bands from the start of his career through to recent shows in the wine country of Australia and Nashville’s legendary Station Inn.

The documentary was shot in iconic locations such as Nashville’s legendary RCA Studio A aka Ben’s Studio, the California desert and the 25th annual MerleFest in Wilkesboro, NC. The film is directed by Australian filmmaker Jeremy Dylan and produced by Chris Kamen and Dylan.

“It’s great to announce these screenings on the 21st anniversary of the release of Jim’s classic Planet of Love album,” said Dylan. “It’s been an incredible ride making this film and I hope we did justice to Jim’s story and his music.”

Q&A sessions will be held at both screenings. The Nashville Q&A with Lauderdale and Dylan will be moderated by journalist Craig Havighurst and the Los Angeles Q&A with Lauderdale will be moderated by Vice President of The GRAMMY Foundation and MusiCares, Scott Goldman.

The screenings will cap off a busy year for Lauderdale. He released his twentieth album Carolina Moonrise in September and December will see the release of the long-awaited Buddy and Jim, a duets album with long-time friend and collaborator Buddy Miller, through New West records.

Tickets for both screenings are on sale. Visit and respectively to get yours now.

For more information on the film, visit and

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November 21, 2012

SESAC – Jim Lauderdale captured in The King of Broken Hearts

SESAC – Jim Lauderdale captured in The King of Broken Hearts

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May 28, 2012

Shooting wraps for the film!


After a month long filming schedule crisscrossing the United States from Nashville to the California desert, shooting has wrapped on the documentary film Jim Lauderdale: The King of Broken Hearts, which tells the story of the unconventional career of the 2-time Grammy winning hit country songwriter, bluegrass singer, radio DJ, awards show host and tai chi master.

After a successful fundraising campaign on IndieGoGo, which exceeded the $10,000 target by almost one thousand dollars, Australian based director Jeremy Dylan and producer Chris Kamen journeyed to Nashville in late April to begin the final leg of filming with the acclaimed singer-songwriter.

The shoot encompassed interviews including pop music legends Elvis Costello and John Oates, country/Americana legend Rodney Crowell, rock’n’roll icon James Burton, producer/guitarist Pete Anderson, country music star Sunny Sweeney, Old Crow Medicine Show’s Ketch Secor, Fabulous Superlative ‘Cousin’ Kenny Vaughan and journalist/singer/songwriter/producer Peter Cooper.

The filmmakers went behind the scenes with Lauderdale as he recorded a new radio show with longtime collaborator Buddy Miller, performed a marathon array of sets at the 25th Merlefest in Wilkesboro NC, wrote songs under the light of the super full moon in historic Pioneertown CA and recorded a new album in a breakneck recording session at Ben Folds‘ studio in Nashville TN with a band of ‘dream players’ that included James Burton and Al Perkins.

This is the second round of filming for the project, following a trip to Nashville that director Jeremy Dylan made last June, interviewing Gary Allan, Buddy Miller, Tony Brown, Jerry Douglas, Randy Kohrs and others for the film.

‘This has been a wild month’ says Dylan. ‘We went from the intimacy of a one on one interview with Elvis in front of the Spectacular Spinning Songbook to Jim playing Jimi Hendrix songs for thousands of bluegrass fans at Merlefest. The access we received and the characters who will populate the finished film are remarkable.’

The film is now in post-production, with a premiere tentatively scheduled for later this year. Stay tuned to and for more updates.

You can also follow the film on Facebook at

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April 16, 2012

25 minutes to go

After a whirlwind 45 days, the fundraising campaign for our documentary on 2-time Grammy winning singer/songwriter Jim Lauderdale is almost at a close.

To date, $10,848 has been donated from men and woman around from around the world – from Newcastle to Nashville, Joshua Tree to Sussex. The project has inspired messages of support and promotion from figures as diverse as the Americana Music Association, BBC radio personalities Simon Mayo and Mark Kermode on their BBC Radio FiveLive show, NZ music legend Neil Finn, British film critic Boyd Hilton and the iconic actor/author/director/tv personality Stephen Fry.

‘The support – financial and otherwise – from folks around the world has been incredibly gratifying’ says director/producer Jeremy Dylan. ‘It just shows how many people have connected with Jim and his music. We can’t wait to get back to the States and get to work telling his story!’

The shoot begins next Monday in Nashville, Tennessee. Dylan and producer Chris Kamen will be shooting with Lauderdale and others in Nashville TN, Wilkesboro NC, Asheville NC, Statesville NC, Los Angeles CA and Pioneertown CA.

Jim Lauderdale: The King of Broken Hearts
tells the story of hit country songwriter, Grammy winning bluegrass singer, awards show host, radio DJ and tai chi master Jim Lauderdale – from his days a trainee mime, sweating it out in the 80s LA club scene with Lucinda Williams, his frustrations and false starts in the industry, his classic songs that became hits for George Strait, Patty Loveless and Gary Allan and his work with artists like Elvis Costello, Willie Nelson, Ralph Stanley and Buddy Miller.

‘We’ve got some really exciting interviews with some of Jim’s musical collaborators and admirers lined up. When you tell people in the industry you’re making a movie about Jim Lauderdale, they can’t wait to talk to you,’
says Dylan.

Shooting will conclude at the end of May, with a release tentatively aimed for September/October 2012.

‘There’s still five hours left to help us fund the film. I’ve had a number of people tell me they were waiting for the last minute to make a final decision. Well, this is the last minute!’

Donate to help make the film a reality by clicking HERE.

To find out more information about the project, visit or contact Jeremy Dylan on

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April 12, 2012

Another sell out – and only 3 days left!

With only three days of fundraising left to go, we’ve sold out of another supporter level – all Reason & Rhyme Supporter slots have been filled.

But don’t fret – you can still become a Divide and Conquer Supporter!

For only $200, you get two tickets any Jim Lauderdale headlining show of your choice, you get to meet Jim at the show, where you can get him to sign your other rewards – a copy of his Grammy nominated Reason and Rhyme album, a Jim Lauderdale poster or 8X10 photo and a Jim Lauderdale bumper sticker. You also get a DVD or BluRay of the finished film, HD Digital Download of the film, Access to Exclusive Web Content and your name in the credits of the finished film!

There are other supporter levels still available:

For $40, being a Twang Supporter will get you: HD Digital download of the film, Access to private web content (exclusive acoustic performances, excised clips, etc.), DVD or HD Blu-Ray of the film, Jim Lauderdale bumper sticker, One 8X10 photo of Jim OR one Jim Lauderdale album poster (signed by Jim).

For $25, being a Hole In My Head Supporter will get you: a HD Digital download of the film, Access to private web content, exclusive acoustic performances, excised clips, etc., DVD or HD Blu-Ray of the film and a Jim Lauderdale bumper sticker!

And for a mere $5, being a Tough All Over Supporter will get you a HD Digital download of the film and access to private web content, exclusive acoustic performances, excised clips, etc.

You’ve only got a couple of days left to snag yourself some of these stellar reward packages, so visit the fundraising page and donate HERE.

In other Lauderdale news, it’s Jim’s birthday today! We’d like to wish the great man best wishes on his birthday and look forward to many more years of brilliant music from him.

It was recently revealed that Jim will be featured on the soundtrack of the new film about bluegrass legend Bill Monroe. The film will star Michel Shannon as Monroe, along side Olivia Wilde, Ed Helms, Tim Blake Nelson, John C Reilly, Sam Shepherd and Ahsley Judd.

Also featured alongside Jim on the soundtrack album are Dierks Bentley, Ralph Stanley, Keb Mo, Vince Gill and Ricky Skaggs.

Soon, producer Chris Kamen and I will be boarding our flights and heading to the US for the second round of filming – back on the LauderTrail!

– Jeremy Dylan, director

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March 29, 2012

Get a double pass to see Jim live and meet him at the show!

Please help the film get made by visiting our fundraising campaign here!

Another sell out! All our ‘Honey Songs Supporter’ slots have been filled. 10 generous music fans will be receiving packs of seventeen of Jim’s brilliant records. With those slots filled, we’ve launched a brand new supporter category.

For $200, you can become a ‘Divide and Conquer Supporter’. This nabs you two tickets to Jim’s next headlining show of your choice, anywhere in the world. Not only that, you get to meet Jim at the show!

You’ll also get a signed copy of his latest album, the Grammy nominated ‘Reason and Rhyme’, co-written with the Grateful Dead’s Robert Hunter.

PLUSa digital HD copy of the film, aDVDor Blu Ray copy of the film, a Jim Lauderdale bumper sticker, a Jim Lauderdale poster and your name in the credits of the film!

We only have ten slots open for this funding option – and the first has gone already – so get in quick!

If you’ve already contribute and want to upgrade to a higher supporter level, don’t worry. Check out how to upgrade here –…

Just drop me a line at, forward me your funding confirmation email and let me know which perk you want to upgrade to. I’ll make a note of your chance and all you need to do is contribute the difference between the cost of your current supporter level and the one you want to upgrade to.

Thanks for checking out our campaign – and especially to all of you have donated! We’ve passed the halfway mark with almost three weeks left to go.

Please help the film get made by visiting our fundraising campaign here!

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