When I first moved to Nashville nearly a decade ago, I lived in a section of town near Vanderbilt University called Hillsboro Village. In the neighborhood there is a park that is colloquially known as Dragon Park, named after a dragon that is covered in a mosaic of ceramic tile. It is hugely popular with the kids. Sometimes during walks or runs through the park I would see Jim Lauderdale, alone in the middle of a field, performing Tai Chi. He always appeared serene and focused, even amongst the rabble of kids and dogs. I thought it was so funny.
Which is why the video for his song “Listen,” which is premiering below, feels like a full-circle moment for me. In the video, Lauderdale can be seen performing his beloved Tai Chi at various locations in Sydney, Australia, as well as atop a ridge in the nearby Blue Mountains.
“I had spent a week in China before I arrived [in Australia], studying with some of my teachers and had just finished learning part of this Yang family style,” Lauderdale says. “I’ve still got a ways to go with refining it, but I thought this particular style of my [Tai Chi] practice would go well with what we are saying in the song.”
Lauderdale wrote “Listen” with veteran songwriter Buddy Cannon. The song is about the humility and wisdom that often comes with age and experience. “I think it’s a good and timely message,” Lauderdale says.
“Listen” will appear on Lauderdale’s forthcoming album, From Another World, out June 21 on Yep Roc. This will be his 32nd studio album.
Watch the video, which was directed by Jeremy Dylan, below.