Jimmie Dale Gilmore One Endless Night

Like his compatriots Joe Ely and Butch Hancock, Jimmie Dale Gilmore is that rarest of breeds - a pure American songwriter. Maybe it's just that he's from Texas, where genres have never seemed to matter. Either way, Gilmore's small but unforgettable catalogue has provided ample evidence that Nashville can be beaten through sheer grace and songcraft. On One Endless Night, Gilmore works with Buddy Miller, easily the most sympathetic sideman/producer in roots music right now, not to mention a fine artist in his own right. The songs are a mix of the usual suspects from the Texas clique, including a couple from Hancock and Townes Van Zandt's "No Lonesome Tune." However, with Gilmore it's the unexpected that always astounds the most. A few years ago, he nearly matched Hank Williams on "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry." On this album, he includes "Mack The Knife," almost as an afterthought, and turns the smarmy lounge lizard anthem into something David Lynch could base an entire movie around. Also memorable is a new take on the Grateful Dead's "Ripple," which shows it's probably the one song that will carry the band's legacy for all time. But you get that feeling with everything Gilmore puts his voice to. (Rounder)