Jim Lauderdale has been one of the most prolific artists on the Americana scene during the past decade. The guy puts out records almost on pace with Ryan Adams, recently releasing two new sets simultaneously, Bluegrass and Country Hits Vol. 1. Lauderdale's special gift is that he writes and performs everything along the roots spectrum, from honky-tonk to bluegrass to trippy jam band stuff, without any noticeable break in his stride. He's won a Grammy for his work with bluegrass legend Ralph Stanley, but he's also a favorite songwriter for the likes of honky-tonk legend George Strait. Despite major label deals in the '90s, Lauderdale's work has always been just a bit too smart to ever hit the mainstream bull's-eye, but with a half dozen respected albums and a constantly filled touring card, he's never unemployed. And on those days when the 2002 Americana Entertainer of the Year is feeling lazy, he just tiptoes out to the mailbox and grabs a handful of royalty checks from Patty Loveless, Mark Chesnutt, Vince Gill and the Dixie Chicks.