A Man Ain't Made of Stone

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
Few men in country music history have been able to put a ballad across with more feeling than Randy Travis. So A MAN AIN'T MADE OF STONE begins on an unexpected note with the funky "A Little Bitty Crack In Her Heart." But true to form, it's the ballads that set it apart from the rest of the pack. Travis does a good job of getting loosey-goosey when he has to, but when he settles his soothing baritone and impeccable phrasing into a heartfelt narrative such as the title track, he opens up new worlds in the simple stories he trades on. The songs are full of plainspoken wisdom (lessons from "The Family Bible and the Farmer's Almanac") and a reverence for home and hearth. Of ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David McGee
Few men in country music history have been able to put a ballad across with more feeling than Randy Travis. So A MAN AIN'T MADE OF STONE begins on an unexpected note with the funky "A Little Bitty Crack In Her Heart." But true to form, it's the ballads that set it apart from the rest of the pack. Travis does a good job of getting loosey-goosey when he has to, but when he settles his soothing baritone and impeccable phrasing into a heartfelt narrative such as the title track, he opens up new worlds in the simple stories he trades on. The songs are full of plainspoken wisdom (lessons from "The Family Bible and the Farmer's Almanac") and a reverence for home and hearth. Of course no RT album would be complete without a good heartbreak song, and "A Heartache in the Works" is one of the better ones he's cut in recent years, an understated detailing of a love affair's quiet disintegration. Exemplary work all around by one of country's most reliable artists, and a good guy to boot.
All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Randy Travis has always been a traditionalist, which was fine in the late '80s, when he brought straight-up, hardcore country back into the charts, but a decade later, he was out of step with the charts. After spending his career at Warner, he switched to DreamWorks, adopting a new production team James Stroud and Byron Gallimore along the way. Ironically, You and You Alone, his 1998 debut for the label, wasn't up to the standard of Full Circle, his last for Warner, and A Man Ain't Made of Stone, his second effort for DreamWorks, isn't either. Much like its predecessor, A Man is a sturdy, solid affair that takes a couple of chances that don't quite work, while offering several good, no-frills traditionalist numbers. All those are packed toward the front end of the album, and by the sixth song, "No Reason to Change," the record feels like a modest latter-day masterstroke. Things go a little haywire on the second half, beginning with "Where Can I Surrender," a turgid ballad with a gospel choir supporting him. From that point on, Travis isn't on secure ground, as even promising numbers are undone by weird quirks: the enjoyable rocker "I'll Be Right Here Loving You" is undone by a chanted litany of modern conveniences/hassles in the verse, "Once You've Heard the Truth" takes a weirdly anthemic turn in the chorus. Travis retains his dignity throughout it all, and the record is redeemed by the nice closer "Thirteen Mile Goodbye," but by that point, A Man Ain't Made of Stone has revealed itself as nothing new, simply a solid Randy Travis record. Much of it sounds fine, but it doesn't have the character of his earlier records, which proves that it's possible to stay traditionalist and still be memorable.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/21/1999
  • Label: Dreamworks
  • UPC: 600445011946
  • Catalog Number: 50119

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Randy Travis Primary Artist, Primary Artist
Matt Rollings Piano, Keyboards
Carol Chase Background Vocals
Cindy Walker Background Vocals
John Wesley Ryles Background Vocals
Mike Brignardello Bass
Paul Franklin Steel Guitar
Sonny Garrish Steel Guitar
Paul Leim Drums
Brent Mason Electric Guitar
Jerry McPherson Electric Guitar
Brent Rowan Electric Guitar
Lisa Silver Background Vocals
Biff Watson Acoustic Guitar
Curtis Young Background Vocals
Aubrey Haynie Fiddle, Mandolin
Russell Terrell Background Vocals
Tabitha Fair Background Vocals
Gary W. Smith Piano, Keyboards
Michael Black Background Vocals
Technical Credits
Randy Travis Producer
Byron Gallimore Producer
Julian King Engineer
Glenn Meadows Contributor
Tim Stroh Engineer
James Stroud Producer
Richard Hanson Engineer
Ricky Cobble Engineer
Eric Fruits Engineer
Elizabeth Travis Art Direction
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