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Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives - Nashville Volume 1: Tear The Woodpile Down


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Label: Sugar Hill

Reviewed by Peter North, host of Dead Ends & Detours and Points North

The bar has been set high, and the consistency of Marty Stuart projects over the past 25 years always matches, and in most cases surpasses, those of his most talented peers.

With Nashville Vol. 1 Stuart continues to lay down passionate, heart on his sleeve - make that the sleeves on his Manuel tailored suit - country music that is a volatile concoction of the finest elements of traditional country music.

As is always the case, this powerhouse triple threat of a musician doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel but he does put his own spin on it, particularly in the lyric department.

He paints image-laden verses filled with emotion and he parcels them into four-minute mini-country operas at one turn and authoritative musical editorials the next.

Drummer Harry Stinson, guitarist Kenny Vaughan and bassist Paul Martin is one heavy hitting unit that creates a sturdy foundation while dispensing, especially in Vaughan’s case, succinct stinging solos and breaks.

A few guests make their way into the mix, notably banjo master Buck Trent on the title track and Holding On To Nothing, while Hank III arrives on Picture From Life’s Other Side, a song that his legendary grandfather penned.

There will be no closin’ up the honky-tonks as long as Stuart and his Fabulous Superlatives are still making music and one can only hope that more artists take a cue from these men and that the pendulum of country music starts swinging, and swinging back hard to a place it belongs.

May 18, 2012
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