- Release Date:
- Widow's Peak Records
Performance CreditsEric Stuart Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Rhythm Guitar,Vocals,Background Vocals,Hand Clapping,Lead
Marian Conti Violin
Louis Cortelezzi Baritone Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Irwin Fisch Organ,Piano
John Siegler Bass
Frank Vilardi Drums,Tambourine,Shaker
Questar "Quick" Welsh Keyboards,Vocals,Background Vocals,Guitar (12 String Electric),Guitar (12 String Acoustic)
Jim Malone Harmonica
Barbara Brousal Vocals
Rachel Handman Fiddle
Benny Landa Guitar,Rhythm Guitar,Lead
Darren Dunstan Background Vocals
Kevin Merritt Accordion,Vocals
David Smith Trumpet
Julie Reyburn Background Vocals
Technical CreditsQuestar "Quick" Welsh Producer,Engineer
Eric Stuart Composer,Producer
Kevin Merritt Horn Arrangements
Dante Conti Graphic Design
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In the County of Kings based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Listening through this album is like travelling through a beautiful landscape. As stories are told by Eric Stuart's warm, convincing voice, I can easily envision them in vivid colors, and I love the overall gentleness that binds the whole album together. Of all his CDs I have heard, I think this CD is the best in terms of its integrity. The whole thing, including the cover, is a beautifully crafted piece of art. You don't have to be a fan of country music in order to enjoy this album, because his music is not confined by certain rigid styles. His songs have a way of appealing to anyone who listens.
Eric coins the term “concrete country” to describe his music, which defies classification. Most of his songs have a classical country sound with varying degrees of that old time rock’n’roll. The result is fresh and unique with something for everyone. But it isn’t the genre that grips you—it’s the attention to detail like you’ve never heard before. Each song is stacked with layer upon layer of quality, quality, quality. The first thing that strikes you is Eric’s voice. As an accomplished voice actor he can deliver a top-notch musical performance with an added emotion specific to each song. In The Last Word, he sounds like a mischievous boy on the verge of laughter striving to keep a straight face in order to deliver his sarcastic remarks. Who else can do that and sing at the same time? The next thing you’ll notice are the catchy tunes. At the end of Paint the Town, there are a few bars of “don dee don don.” No real words there--none are needed. I guarantee that during your boring daily grind you’ll start singing it to yourself, and the tune alone will make you smile. Now, the voice and tunes would be enough to sell it, but ESB takes it further. Closer listening reveals that the lyrics can stand on their own as good poetry. One part of Hand-Me-Down Love goes, “Some say this outfit suits me, I should button my lip, but our common thread hangs loosely, and it’s causing me to slip.” How many extended and multiple meanings are packed into these few, quickly sung words? Finally, the instrumentation is as carefully crafted as the other layers, with parts that change and develop along with the flow of ideas in each song. The Bottom Line contains two humorous examples: a sprightly violin part is used to convey the idea of laughter, and later, when Eric sings, “you’d better knock on wood,” he really knocks on wood! In conclusion, each song is a masterpiece, and I can’t imagine the amount of time, effort, and care that went into every line. Nobody else does all this!
This is the most intelligent and inspired music I’ve ever heard! This isn’t some cowboy wannabe singing about his favorite beer—Eric Stuart is a God-blessed songwriting genius and vocal virtuoso! His lyrics display clever rhetoric in each carefully chosen word, and his voice is specifically adapted to capture the mood of each powerfully emotional song. Though his musical style has as many different shades as a full spectrum rainbow, there is always pure country for true heart and rock roots for footloose fun! Prepare yourself to hear a devotion to quality and gift for music like there has never been—long live the King of Kings County!
It takes tireless dedication, maniacal perfectionism, and God-given talent to make music like this. ESB spoiled me for life from the very first track— there is no going back to hearing music as usual now that I know that music like this is possible! Eric has the most wonderful voice I have ever heard. It can easily take on a full range of emotions, from charming boyish innocence to deep maddening anguish yet it is always so rich and direly attractive (he sounds as sultry as he looks) that it steals your heart every time. His genius extends to the orchestration of sounds— seamlessly blending together voice and instrumentation into one unforgettable story-telling dreamscape. However, the unique trademark that makes ESB stand out above the rest is undoubtedly the lyrics. This is where Eric Stuart enters the realm of the impossible! The first time you listen to an ESB song, the lyrics sound beautiful, genuine, and natural— but closer listening thereafter reveals an intricate web of carefully chosen words. Somehow he manages to stack multiple shades of meaning and plays on words on top of each other. This complexity of seemingly effortlessly-knit rhetorical devices is like nothing I have ever heard before, and I notice something new every time. All the stuff that legends are made of is merely the icing on the cake! This guy is a song-writing madman with the alluring voice of a cunning devil! He is destined for greatness, and deserves to be a legend in his own time!