The Best of the Hightone Years

The Best of the Hightone Years

by Gary StewartGary Stewart


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In the mid-'70s, coal miner's son Gary Stewart jumped from playing piano in Charley Pride's band to leading his own -- a unit dedicated rockabilly's fervor and honky-tonk's moaning. However, Stewart found big-time success elusive. Come the '80s, he opted for a self-imposed sabbatical from the business, reemerging in 1988, not on RCA, where he'd made his early name, but on the independent Hightone label, with his gritty baritone and his honky-tonk attitude intact. The budget-line Best of the Hightone Years spotlights cuts from his early efforts for the label, with drinkin' and cheatin' songs figuring prominently among the 13 tracks. "Make It a Double" and "An Empty Glass" are first-rate bluesy and besotted laments; Stewart's terse, Joe Ely-like reading of "Nothin' Cheap About a Cheap Affair" evokes a divided soul facing up to an illicit rendezvous; and "Bedroom Battleground" uses a driving rhythm, twangy guitar, and wailing pedal steel to underscore the singer's George Jonesian anguish over domestic disharmony. The spirited "Honky Tonk Hardwood Floor" takes Stewart back to southern rock roots, with a little Jerry Lee-style piano pounding adding a rambunctious touch to a propulsive outing. Whether upbeat or introspective, Gary Stewart delivers a strong dose of the real hard country thing, and then some. When listening to this music, however, a designated driver is a necessity.

Product Details

Release Date: 01/15/2002
Label: Hightone Records
UPC: 0012928814126
catalogNumber: 8141
Rank: 30132

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Gary Stewart   Primary Artist
Tracy Nelson   Background Vocals
Warren Haynes   Slide Guitar
Fred Bogert   Keyboards
Harold Bradley   Bass Guitar
Buddy Cannon   Background Vocals
Chip Young   Acoustic Guitar
Paul Franklin   Steel Guitar
Sonny Garrish   Steel Guitar
Steve Hinson   Steel Guitar
Carla Hunter   Background Vocals
Jerry Kroon   Drums
Kim Morrison   Background Vocals
Larry Paxton   Bass
Hank Singer   Fiddle
Milton Sledge   Drums
Biff Watson   Acoustic Guitar
Reggie Young   Electric Guitar
Dino Zimmerman   Acoustic Guitar
Charlie McCoy   Harmonica
Dale Sellars   Electric Guitar
Kenny Bell   Acoustic Guitar
David Briggs   Piano,Musical Direction

Technical Credits

Gary Stewart   Composer
Fred Bogert   Engineer
Larry Cummings   Engineer
Roy Dea   Producer
Dean Dillon   Composer
Tom Hitchcock   Engineer
Glen Middleworth   Producer
Bill Harris   Engineer
Joe Funderburk   Engineer

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