'Live at The Lost Highway' by Jim Dalton is a solid country album
Ralph Longobardi

It's been said before, but sometimes you can go on Bandcamp and find a pleasant surprise - no matter what sort of music you're searching. For example, if you were to search for country music, one album you might find is Live at The Lost Highway by Jim Dalton. Dalton is the lead guitarist and vocalist for Railbenders and Hickman-Dalton Gang. In addition, he is the lead guitarist for Roger Clyne and The Peacemakers. (Yes, he is one busy fella.) With this album (released on July 25), he shows himself to be a very capable solo artist.

One thing you'll notice about this live album is that it's very casual. For example, after playing a bit of "Amigos," he stops and says that he forgot to tell the audience about their participation in the song. That's not the only example either. Before his song "Tucson Troubadour" (about Roger Clyne), he responds to someone's request for tequila. Then after one verse, he stops playing to respond to someone that points out the grammatical incorrectness of Dalton's lyrics, "he lives among the cactus." After saying that cacti doesn't rhyme with practice, he shoots some tequila and continues playing the song.

Dalton has a good sense of humor in dealing with the audience, and he also has a good sense of humor in his lyrics. "Pantalones" is a good example of this. He introduces the song by saying that he wrote a song about losing his two favorite white jeans in Mexico. In the song - which has a distinct Mexican sound in the guitar picking - he sings about an epic night of drinking after which he asks, "Mi pantalones, donde estan?"

In keeping with the tradition of country music, album also features some duets like "Don't Go Leavin' on Me Now." The harmony vocalist is not identified on the Bandcamp page, but she sings with a sweet voice that blends perfectly with Dalton's. Also in the tradition of country music, Dalton sings a song about never drinking anymore. Naturally, the song ends with a twist where Dalton sings that he's celebrating quitting by having just one more.

Live at The Lost Highway is a fun live album. Since nothing was edited out of the recording - including the false starts and the audience participation - it feels like you were there watching him perform. If you're a fan of classic country, you'll enjoy this album that is available now on Bandcamp for $10.