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Jim Lauderdale Honored With SESAC Inspiration Award

Ed Rode, Getty Images

His lengthy list of writing credits includes songs cut by George Strait, the Dixie Chicks, Lucinda Williams, Blake Shelton, Elvis Costello and Jack Ingram, covering genres from bluegrass to country to a little bit of rock ‘n’ roll, yet Jim Lauderdale still has the humility of a brand-new songwriter. The two-time Grammy winner took home the Inspiration Award from the performing-rights organization SESAC’s annual awards ceremony Monday night, but according to Jim, he’s not sure he’s worthy.

“I was real surprised about [the award], because in all honesty, I don’t know if I deserve something like that,” he tells The Boot. “It’s a big honor, and I’m real grateful to SESAC for that. And I’m real grateful for all the music in this town. You can’t go someplace without meeting a great artist or a great singer. This is a great night. You see people you rarely get to see. I travel a lot, so this is real special to reconnect.”

Having received top honors for several genres of music, Jim is known for his versatility as both a songwriter and an artist, which makes picking his favorite style a bit of a challenge for the 53-year old. “I really love traditional country music and progressive country music and bluegrass and blues and R&B and soul music. I really like it all.”

Releasing his 19th studio album, ‘Patchwork River,’ earlier this year, Jim acknowledges he has had many fortunate moments. “I’ve been so lucky, from working with Ralph Stanley to getting to do duet with George Jones,” he tells The Boot. “He was such a favorite of mine and still is, so that was really cool to get to do that. I’ve been so lucky to work with some of my heroes.”

Jim is also topping off his stellar year with a new acting credit on his resume. He plays Gwyneth Paltrow‘s band leader in the new film, ‘Country Strong,’ which premiered in Nashville Monday night and opens nationwide next month.

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