Jim Christie

Drummer Jim ChristieJim Christie will play just about anything. “I love playing polkas,” he says. “I’ll play Norte-o music all day long. I love playing straight-ahead jazz. I love playing country. I like playing anything, as long as it’s good.”

Just as quickly as he says that, though, Christie reports that he loves playing with Lucinda Williams. “I like Lucinda’s thing because it enables me to do hand percussion and drums at the same time,” he reports. “I can play a shaker or a tambourine with my left hand and then play the kit with my right. I really dig that. It’s been fun trying to emulate what Jim Keltner does. His approach to playing drums is so eclectic and left of center, and it’s fun to go for those kinds of things.”

Not only has Christie had the opportunity to interpret Keltner’s recorded parts during the Williams gigs, he’s also captured the spirit of the late Donald Lindley, who played on Williams’ breakthrough, Car Wheels On A Gravel Road. “He was a great drummer and friend,” Christie says of Lindley. “So I was really digging on learning his stuff. I wasn’t trying to be me in the stuff. I learned his vibe.” Advertisement

After a pair of tour runs, Christie hit the studio with Williams earlier this year to record the emotionally wrenching World Without Tears. The album bends from jazz ballads to light country shuffles to off-kilter rockers, and Christie had the opportunity to use sticks, brushes, and Pro-Mark’s Broom Sticks, and even create drum loops on the tracks “Atonement” and “American Dream.” According to Jim, “The cool thing about this record is that it goes a lot of different places.”