Marty's Party

Country Music –
Marty Stuart

Now this is one heckuva name for an album! Stuart left Philadelphia, Miss., at 13 to go on the road with Lester Flatt and has made his brand of country music at the highest quality ever since. As a star and music historian, he’s known as well as anyone in Nashville.

When he announced this new CD in June, Marty ventured back to the Magnolia State for a launch party at legendary author William Faulkner’s estate, Rowan Oak. As Stuart so eloquently put it, “Faulkner would get a kick out of knowing all these hillbillies were hanging out in his front yard.” You’ll want to mingle with Country Music, from the Porter Wagoner remake “A Satisfied Mind” to Cash’s “Walls of a Prison.” The new song “If There Ain’t There Ought’a Be” is a fantastic up-tempo track – uniquely Marty Stuart. A-

Buddy Jewell –
Buddy Jewell

His self-penned “Help Pour Out the Rain (Lacey’s Song)” made history as the highest-charting debut single by a new artist since Wynonna’s “She Is His Only Need” (1992), partly because of its sweet parent-child dynamic, but also because Jewell knows how to emotionally connect with listeners. Of course, it doesn’t hurt to also be the champion of USA Network’s “Nashville Star,” which led to Jewell’s major recording contract.

The 40-something Arkansas native cut countless demos in Music City over the last decade, hoping to one day have his shot. Here it is. The dynamic singer touched a nerve with his leadoff single, which Buddy wrote about his daughter. “I Wanna Thank Everyone (Who Ever Told Me No)” is an in your face “tribute” to his doubters. Produced by Clint Black, other cuts worth your time include “Sweet Southern Comfort,” “One Step At A Time” and “Today I Started Loving You Again,” a duet with “Nashville Star” alum Miranda Lambert. B+

Red Dirt Road –
Brooks & Dunn

Kix Brooks and Ronnie Dunn have garnered themselves quite a collection of coming-of-age songs with their 10th studio album. Here, country’s most successful duo comes clean about who they are and what forged their turbo-tonk sound.

Fans of the South will tap their toes along when the title song bursts from the speaker. “You Can’t Take the Honky Tonk Out of the Girl” is a sure-fire Dixie rocker. Fans of mountain music will enjoy “Caroline.” Kix tries his hand at vocals on “When We Were Kings,” a song about the Vietnam years. Thank goodness this “marriage” has worked for a dozen years. These boys are still making music and touring, keeping scores of y’all boot scootin’ under the neon moon with each passing day. Now that’s the honky tonk truth! B

Greatest Hits Collection Vol. 1 –
Trace Adkins

If you don’t like Trace Adkins, then you must not like country music. This 6’6″ crooner has a voice that’s as big as he is tall. Greatest Hits Collection Vol. 1 is the very CD Adkins fans have been waiting for. Like him or not, there’s outstanding music here that soars over Adkins’ lanky frame.

Before making it to the big time, Trace was a divorcee with two kids, he’d been shot by his ex and was turned down by numerous music experts. Undeterred, he broke through with 1996’s Dreaming Out Loud, and the memorable debut single “There’s a Girl in Texas.” Subsequent smashes that are included on this assemblage include “Chrome,” “Big Time,” “More” and “Every Light in the House Is On.” A new favorite is included here, “Then They Do,” which will leave tears in any parent’s eye. This 14-track walk down memory lane is well worth a spin in the rig. P.S. – Congrats Trace on your becoming the latest inductee into the Grand Ole Opry. A+

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