Here's what the fans are saying about Badlands
"Today there the majority of lyrics express nothing more important then 'shake your booty,' or 'I love you, I don't love you.' There is nothing wrong with these lyrics but when they dominate radio, TV and CDs then it is evidence of the dumbing down of contemporary culture. This has been especially true in the genre of country music.
One of the musician's trying to reverse this trend is Marty Stuart, this CD is a prime example. At their best, Marty's lyrics and new and fresh in describing the long term suffering of the Indian. At times, in their quest to speak plainly, they enter into the realm of the chiche and lost their power. This is often found in the readings and especially in the song 'Three Chiefs.' Yet, a flawed beauty and truth are found in these passages.
I hope he does a CD someday on the positive aspects of Indian life amidst the suffering. It is important that we do not forget this suffering is still among us, and needs to be addressed. Many of us have a tendency to forget, and let others do the work of righting the wrongs. Marty won't let us forget, and we own him thanks.
By the way, the music is great and is in the Kick Butt Stuart Groove! :)" -- John Gregorio, Castalian Springs, TN
"While this album is not for everyone, Marty fans will appreciate it. Marty sounds great and, of course, the instrumental work is first rate (as always). It is the history of the American Indian (particulary the Sioux Nation) set to music with a little social commentary thrown in. Marty fans know of his love for the American Indian and his concern for their future and the sad living conditions they now find themselves in." -- Virginia J. Pierce, Leesburg, FL
"Marty Stuart has always been an amazing musician, so any album of his (or featuring him as guest performer) will be appreciated. His forays into concept albums (The Pigrim, Badlands) allow him to stretch out into various shades of Americana. This album succeeds in many ways: songwriting, story-telling and strong performances. It is a very enjoyable listen, highly recommended." -- Don Richards, Aurora, CO
"This was a birthday gift for my husband who is Shawnee/Anishnabe and has a strong connection to his Lakota brothers. He was quite moved by the words and music of Marty Stuart, an accomplished musician. His treatment of the sensitive nature of both historical and current treatment of Native Americans is exemplary. It is obvious that he has empathy and understanding for the First Americans." -- Karen Yowell, Portland, OR
"An extraordinary and evocative album. The songs are first-rate: rich, varied, and beautifully done. It's a concept album that truly works, carrying you beyond the music and into another corner of the world. You can hear the compassion and understanding that went into the creation of the album but it's not pedantic or overly didactic (like I'm being by using those words).
This is my first Marty Stuart album, bought sort of by chance and sort of because of a great review in the All Music Guide. I'm not someone who typically listens to a lot of 'country music', but this transcends its genre, like the best music tends to do, because of its subject matter, the songwriting craft, and the soul behind the writing. The All Music Guide review said something about it raising the bar for country music albums, but I would say it does this for other genres of music as well.
It succeeded in making me more compassionately aware of its subject matter as well as convincing me as a musician and music afficianado that I've got to see what else I've been missing with this Marty Stuart guy..." -- Gsorme, Seattle, WA
"Marty Stuart so far has proven to be an artist who's CD's can be bought without first hearing - they are always good. This CD is no exception. Marty and his band the Fabulous Superlatives are some of the greatest guitar based musicians on the planet. The subject matter for the disc is moving, and important. A must have." -- Terence Breen
"While many people are not fond of concept albums, this is one that gets its message across quite clearly. Marty Stuart has created a masterpiece of storytelling with a wonderful mixture of musical styles that is a definite "must-own" for fans of Stuart or anyone interested in the plight of the American Indian. (Yes, that is the more accepted term that most of us prefer, rather than Native American.) Stuart's vision encompasses both past and present tragedies and presents it in an enjoyable musical form. The title track is a clever, driving piece that could easily find an audience were it allowed major airplay. Anyone not moved by the cover of Johnny Cash's "Big Foot" has no compassion in them. The other tracks weave a sad tale of poverty, deceit, and broken promises that one must experience firsthand to truly understand, but listening to Marty's musical narrative is a good start.
Pilamaya, Marty Stuart. Thank you." -- Captain Duke
"Thanksgiving music (sort of) from Marty Stuart's new record, Badlands.
Not much great Thanksgiving music is there? Why is that? Is it because we are giving thanks for our own success and another people's demise? Perhaps that doesn't translate well into song. What does a Thanksgiving prayer sound like in a Native American household on a reservation beset by poverty? I think it might sound a bit like Marty Stuart's brave new record called Badlands, a portrait of the Lakota Sioux in South Dakota. I've written about Marty before (here) and there's not that much more to say. He is our Johnny Cash of the next 20 years. I stongly suggest you go out and buy this one. Make it your Thanksgiving duty." -- Craig Bonnell
"It is about time the Native American Indian story is told and he did a great job. It brings tears to my eyes." -- gibsondc, New York
"It's a little different than your typical Marty Stuart with a bit of Native American beat. A sound and a cause that I turely commend." -- Bearflywea, Ellington, CT
"Badlands is Marty Stuart's new record, and it will be released on Monday. He operates in a traditional country-rock framework, safe beneath the wings of the Grand Old Opry, a stalwart icon of Music Row. The historical scope of this record is heartfelt, as well as an homage to Johnny Cash and his enduring shadow and influence on authentic American Roots music. Stuart's passion is the saga of the American Indian and his new record is stunning in music and lyrics and imagery, not just because it's a country record but because of its eerie juxtaposition of the violent bloody imagery of Little Big Horn and Wounded Knee with contemporary echoes in Fallujeh or Anbar or the Afghani valleys of the Hindu Kush.
This is as grown up a country record as I've heard lately, something to say, echoes of warriors and of shamans and a bloody American History. It will be a measure of whether country radio is ready to lead radio back to some relevance that it might play Badlands in the middle of all the hats and cliches and locked closets of that format. Production is spot on, guitars scratching where they should. If it's a Music Row production you know you'll get strings, so watch out for that. But Badlands has balls, and ringing guitars, and twang, lots of soul and a knowledge of its own history. Country music could use all of those right now.
Badlands got me to thinking about the Indians, and just what an amazing history there was in this country before a white man ever showed his face. I'm woefully uneducated here and I'm going to dig into it a little. I saw Russell Means speak at the Alternate Democratic Convention at the Metroplex in ATL in 1988. I think he was a fringe party VP candidate at the time. I don't remember him as a compelling speaker. The modern Indian movement has always lacked traction for the very reason that they've lacked any media savvy, and most white men and women would just rather not think about it. Much of life on rural Indian Reservations like Pine Ridge is indistinguishable from that in some of the worst urban housing projects, and that's a shame. Stuart, one time child guitar prodigy from Philadelphia, Mississippi, has given the American Indian a great statement, for those who might stumble upon it. Check out Badlands by Marty Stuart if you dare." -- Rob Rankin
"One of my fave albums of the past year is Marty Stuart's Badlands which tells the plight of the Lakota Sioux." -- John (United Kingdom)
"My fourteenth recommendation is: Marty Stuart's "Casino" from his 2005 Badlands album. I was first introduced to this album when CMT aired a special about Marty's journey to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. I knew of him before that and liked his music but I was not really into him, for some reason. The special was really captivating because I could relate with some of what was going on. I myself am Native American and I knew a little about the Lakota tribe and the Badlands area, so seeing how passionate Marty was about helping out this tribe, who live simple lives on the rural, significantly-impoverished reservation land, was amazing. His goal was to bring awareness to their situation by using his skills in music, like Johnny Cash's Bitter Tears: Ballads of the American Indian concept album, to get the message across. I have plenty more to say about the topic, but not enough space lol, so you can read this to find out more.
"Casino" grabbed me on first listen, indefinitely. You would know by reading my reviews that I've got a huge soft spot for a slow, traditional country ballad, especially one with loads of yearning steel guitar. The steady acoustic guitar chords add to the agony of the story described throughout, of a Native American man who has basically lost everything near and dear to him because of the enchanting lure of the lights of the casino. I have seen and heard lots of stories about how the casinos in or around reservations are doing tons more harm than good. Of course, they're not totally to blame: the victim did choose to go in and gamble away, but it truly is an addiction, like alcohol, and the casinos sure know how to take advantage of that as much as they can. The story told by Marty Stuart in this song, I'm sure, describes so many different people's lives, and he sings it with such conviction: you would think it really happened to him. You can't help but feel so bad for the man in this song: he seems so lonely and surrounded by darkness and with nowhere to go but back to the demons who brought him down. And damn, that steel guitar sure highlights the suffering this man is going through! I think it's one of the best steel songs in music, to be honest (of course, I'm biased, but listen to it, and you'll see what I mean! ;) )
I love that Marty created this album because there are not many songs that portray Native Americans or their culture (without all the same-clichés and sterotypes) and focus on their lives and the struggles they go through, like this. Marty Stuart reminds me of Johnny Cash in so many ways, and the efforts both of them made to, not just country music but on other areas, is outstanding. It's thrilling also that the whole album is rooted deep in traditional country and a honky-tonk sound, making it even more of a stunning work. All the songs sound great and capture the spirit of what he intended to do with the album. It is absolutely one of the best albums I own and I wish more people would listen to it and let the music just sink into their ears and soul." -- from an online blog
"This album by Marty Stuart is what might be called an album militant as he takes up the cause of the Indian tribes in the region and he speaks in songs from their lives, their tragedy and their hopes. Fourteen tracks on this album, which twelve songs are written by Marty Stuart and two instrumentals very revealing of the spirit prevailing here. Marty Stuart was married to Cindy Cash, daughter of Johnny Cash. We can assume that the showdown of the Man In Black fleet over this album, we took the guts from the first title, Indeed, the intro is an Indian song we are in condition for the efiture.
The first song tells of Badlands, cites historical and does not hesitate to declare that it is like a church with a steeple, a prominent land where the devil (Custer) returned to Hell, where Shadows have eyes, and the wind was heard with voices from beyond. The Battle of Little Big Horn is recalled to our memories with the song 'Trip To Little Big Horn.' A battle that is a milestone in the history of the US because it is here that General Custer and 285 solders of the 7th Calvary were killed in attacks by Indian tribunes unified by Sitting Bull. The response to the disaster (for the American Army) did not take place because it is expected to rise when Wounded Knee retaliated. Men, women and children were decimated by the troops. That is what Marty Stuart sings with the eponymous title 'Wounded Knee.'
Many years later, an American president (Clinton) arrived with a bag full of dreams, promises to go door-to-door getting the messsage out. 'Broken Promise Land' tells the epic story of the time. Then we gave them permission to build and manage casinos on reservations. Justice was done after being robbed and stripped of everything. The Lakotas who are now caring for themselves and our portfolio all in song with the trace 'Casino.' Today many of those Native Americans are taking charge of their own destiny and finding their pride in being Indian, see hope one day, come to positions of responsibility at the highest level: 'So You Want To Be An Indian." That day, the three main leaders: Red Cloud, Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse murdered -- some find peace for eternity. Before recording this album, Marty lived with the Lakota Indians. I believe that we have never received a powerful message through country music espousing a minority humiliated, despised in the past, but is recoververing gradually revived." -- Cactus (France)
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