Country Music

Country Music

by Marty Stuart
     
 
With Country Music, Marty Stuart returns in style from a nearly four-year hiatus -- with flair and with cojones grandes. Offering his own singular definition of his favorite music via a blistering set of hillbilly rock and country twang, Stuart bookends his triumphant return with a pounding, ominous treatment of Porter Wagoner

Overview

With Country Music, Marty Stuart returns in style from a nearly four-year hiatus -- with flair and with cojones grandes. Offering his own singular definition of his favorite music via a blistering set of hillbilly rock and country twang, Stuart bookends his triumphant return with a pounding, ominous treatment of Porter Wagoner's classic "Satisfied Mind" and a somber, reverent treatment of Johnny Cash's "Walls of a Prison." In between, Stuart and his new band, the aptly named Fabulous Superlatives, offer up ten original songs honed on the hard edge of Bakersfield. On the raucous side, the boogie-fied "Too Much Month (At the End of the Money)," the fiddle- and guitar-fueled stomper "If There Ain't There Ought'a Be," and a whimsical, John Fogerty–style bit of delightful foolishness, "By George" (think of it as the country boogie version of Paul Simon's "You Can Call Me Al"), are surefire dance-hall winners. On the contemplative side, the lilting, bluesy "Here I Am" and the mid-tempo ballad "If You Wanted Me Around" are given ballast by the Superlatives' sure, subtle ensemble work, which sets up Stuart the crooner for two warm, heartfelt performances. The centerpiece, however, is "Farmer's Blues," a vivid depiction of the toil, drudgery, and faith informing the lives of those who work the land. The minimal acoustic and pedal steel accompaniment underscores the conviction in Stuart's and guest star Merle Haggard's weary accounts of life at nature's mercy. It's a profound moment on an album with nary a false step or note.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
Marty Stuart's Country Music is not, as some have said, a radical departure from his already eclectic body of work. As to whether it's "the album of his life," is also up for debate, since he doesn't sound here like he's slowing down. Stuart has given us one of the most consistent catalogues in the country genre since 1980, and has few peers in terms of quality -- George Strait, Dwight Yoakam, and a few others are in his league. But Country Music is different and may be the finest recording he's ever issued. This is his first full-on country-rock record and, teamed with grand master engineer/producer Justin Niebank (Widespread Panic, the Subdudes, etc.), Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives turn old nuggets such as "A Satisfied Mind" and Johnny Cash's "Walls of a Prison" (the tracks which open and close the album, respectively) into wooly country-rockers with killer three- and four-part harmonies and burning guitars, Hammond B3s, mandolins, pedal-steel guitars, and rocking drums. On the other hand, newer songs by the performer and a handful of others are already revved up and cut to fly. This is a rock & roll record cut from the man vein of honky tonk country, and the country that it comes from is pure. Listen to "Farmer's Blues," a sweet, slow, two-step drenched in pedal steel with a duet vocal by Merle Haggard, or the burning-down blues-rock with dobro and banjo of "Tip Your Hat" with Uncle Josh Graves and Earl Scruggs. But even straight-up rockers such as "Sundown in Nashville," "By George" (which has dumb lyrics but still kicks ass), "Wishful Thinkin'," and "Too Much Month" feel as if they could have been played by a rowdier version of Rockpile, while the mid-tempo tracks ("Fool for Love," "Here I Am," "If You Wanted Me Around") only serve to underscore the influences of Dave Edmunds and Nick Lowe. Ultimately, this album is relentless in both its attack and in the pleasure it provides to the listener. There are hot licks everywhere, with great songs, vocals, and a tapestry of moods, textures, and shades that serve to leave one impression: Stuart's radical experimentation of the last ten years has resulted in his finest moment thus far. He offers a prolonged look at how inseparable country and rock & roll are from one another. This may be the summer album of 2003 and, if there is any justice at all, end up on the ten-best lists of virtually ever critic worth their salt.
Billboard - Ray Waddell
One magnificent record. This is country music.

Product Details

Release Date:
07/01/2003
Label:
Sony
UPC:
0696998706323
catalogNumber:
87063

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Marty Stuart   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Fiddle,Mandolin,Electric Guitar
Josh Graves   Dobro
Earl Scruggs   Banjo
Stuart Duncan   Fiddle
Tony Harrell   Piano,Accordion,Clavichord,Hammond Organ
Russ Pahl   Banjo,Steel Guitar
Alison Prestwood   Bass
Michael Rhodes   Bass
Harry Stinson   Drums,Tambourine,Background Vocals
Robby Turner   Steel Guitar
Kenny Vaughan   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Tommy Douglas   Background Vocals
Brian Glenn   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Marty Stuart   Producer,Author
Rusty Jones   Contributor
Paul Kennerley   Contributor
Steve Marcantonio   overdub engineer
Kevin Morrow   Contributor
Justin Niebank   Producer,Engineer
Mike O'Neil   Contributor
Joe Hayes   Composer
Drew Bollman   overdub engineer
Louise Scruggs   Contributor
Mark Brown   Contributor
Tracy Baskette-Fleaner   Art Direction
Cyl Laughlin   Groomer
Thomas B. Allen   Contributor
Deb Castle   Contributor
Rendy Lovelady   Contributor
Faye Dunaway   Contributor
David Conrad   Contributor

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