Best Albums of 2010

Here are some of the many comments in placing Ghost Train: The Studio B Sessions on the top album of 2010 lists:

The album appears at #36 on the Americana Music Association's Top 100 Albums of 2010 list.

My Kind of Country listed their top singles and tracks of 2010 and at #1 was "I Run To You" by Marty and Connie. "The best track from Stuart’s Ghost Train collection is so good, it’s breath-taking. Though not released as a single, it has earned the husband and wife team a Grammy nomination."

PopMatters had the album on its "longer list," but Alex O commented "the BEST country album of the year was from Marty Stuart. I literally have no respect for a best country music list that includes Taylor Swift and has no mention of Stuart’s masterpiece from this year. Did you just not hear the thing? Ghost Train: Studio B Sessions…check it out, and then re-do your list."

Chet Flippo at CMT listed the album as one of 2010's Moments, saying, "Studio B Sessions recharged his batteries and proves why he has long been a true music original."

Bloggers are also posting their picks for the best albums of 2010. Chicagoan blogger, Jake, lists the album at #33 and says, "In a world of country music santized for the mass consumption of suburban redneck poseurs, Marty Stuart is a true preserver of tradition. Listening to Ghost Train, I can hear the soulful authenticity of voices from the past, as well as eclectic energy of today. If there were any justice in the musical universe, 'Hangman,' a song written days before Johnny Cash's death, would top the country charts."

The Music's Over stated: "A Marty Stuart album with the words 'Ghost' and 'Train' in the title ... how can you go wrong? Second best country album in 2010."

Mimi wrote: "For fans constructing our 'Best Of 2010' lists, like mine last week, the results are purely subjective. A site I came upon today has a list of country albums considered the best of 2010. In the comments, section, the list's authors were taken to task, so to speak, for not including Marty Stuart's Ghost Train: The Studio B Sessions. Well, I hadn't heard it yet, but Amazon gives previews, so I made my way there to have a listen to Ghost Train. I've been a fan of Marty's for years, especially after his album This Ones Gonna Hurt You. So, I did want to catch up with him..In the Ghost Train: The Studio B Sessions samples, you have the typical Marty Stuart style keeping it traditional but up to date. If you're a fan, you'll probably adore it. My favorites so far are 'Branded,' 'Bridge Washed Out,' and 'Little Heartbreaker.' But, I can't ignore that skillful mandolin playing in the 'Mississippi Railroad Blues'."

Jethro at Brown Jug Music picked the album as one of his favorites in 2010: "This album is a fantastic unapologetic-ally twangy disc that isn't looking for pop crossover. Marty Stuart is among the best practitioners of neo-traditional country music today. His sense of the history of the music he plays is second to none and it can be heard throughout this album. My favorite country release this year. Play it and you'll be putting on your boots and two stepping the whole way to the nearest honky-tonk ."

Occasional Hope at My Kind of Country listed the album at #4 of the best albums of the year saying, "This record was something of a revelation to me. I’ve never really got Marty Stuart’s music before, respecting his musicianship and admiring his approach, but never really loving the results. At last, this statement of what country music should be grabbed me from the first vibrant notes of opener ‘Branded’, in a set which is full of fire and energy. The backing is superb (with a handful of instrumentals including a steel guitar centered performance of ‘Crazy Arms’ by its writer Ralph Mooney). Marty’s vocals are truly heartfelt on the ballads and forceful on the up-tempo material, with wife Connie Smith duetting with him on a love song, and the material is excellent. Favorite tracks include the somber co-write with the dying Johnny Cash, ‘Hangman’."

Lionel Green at The Sand Mountain Reporter lists Ghost Train as the Best Country Album in 2010.

Greg Quill at the Toronto Star lists the album at #5 saying, "A Nashville veteran cannily conjures up many of his country music heroes — Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Elvis Presley and Conway Twitty among them —with carefully composed originals, a couple of killer instrumentals and some unusual covers. The album, enhanced by Stuart’s killer band, The Superlatives, is a reflection of the singer/writer/picker’s pure country soul and rock ’n’ roll instincts. And it’s all heart."

Nick Coleman at The Independent also listed the album on his Albums of the Year list.

Hyperbolium listed Ghost Train as one of the Top New Albums of 2010.

The Herald-Dispatch highly recommended using your music gift cards on Ghost Train, saying, "In this day and age when mainstream country music is being geared more to the pop music crowd, there is still some real traditional country music being made in Nashville. Marty Stuart has always tried to stick to the dirt-on-your-hands country music over the years, mixing good old fashioned electric guitar chicken picking with off-the-hard-road blues that are straight from the heart. Ghost Train is an exceptional collection of honky tonk-worthy songs with nearly every one a new juke box classic. This music isn’t retro, it is real. On the album, Stuart is backed by his band the Fabulous Superlatives, featuring hot shot guitarist Kenny Vaughan, as well as the Musicians Hall of Fame session pianist Hargus ‘Pig’ Robbins and no less than six different steel guitar players including the legendary Ralph Mooney."

Jim Malec at American Twang lists Ghost Train at #8 on his Top 10 Albums of 2010, saying, "Ghost Train plays like a history lesson taught by a master professor, as Stuart—one of country music’s eminent historians—meticulously constructs new compositions that sound like classics. Like a history lesson, the content can be dry and tedious—especially for the casual observer. Ghost Train is only concerned with breathing life into old things, and the result is a record that’s incomparably accurate but not especially valuable to listeners who don’t already possess a great interest in the types of songs presented. Still, it’s difficult to understate Ghost Train’s excellence. Stuart executes his vision of traditional country music to perfection and underscores it with astonishingly crisp production. The Johnny Cash co-write 'Hangman' is essential listening."

Peter Cooper at The Tennessean lists Ghost Train as part of the the "good stuff" released in 2010: "Swagger, twang and heartache from a country veteran hitting his stride a decade after his radio heyday."

Andrew at Box Scores and Record Stores places the album at #3 on his list, "Marty Stuart has always been somewhat of a musical curiosity to me. I've respected the musicianship he and his band, the Fabulous Superlatives, bring to the table, but aside from his duets with Travis Tritt and some of his lighter songs like 'Tempted', I've never really been able to get into his music. I'm a believer after this album. Stuart got special permission to record in RCA's hallowed Studio B, which is now a museum because of the number of legendary recordings that have been made there. He brings an appropriate amount of gravitas to the album, with tunes like 'Porter Wagoner's Grave' and 'Ghost Train Four-Oh-Ten', while still being able to have fun on more upbeat tunes such as "Branded." The real standout here is the haunting 'Hangman' which Stuart co-wrote with Johnny Cash just four days before Cash's death and would fit right in with Cash's catalog."

J. R. Journey's Top 10 at My Kind of Country lists Ghost Train at #3 as well, "Stuart’s throwback to country’s first golden era is highlighted mostly by warm musicianship, which features up heaping dollops of fiddle and steel while keeping that signature Bakersfield-meets Mississippi sound that made Stuart’s early recordings so engaging. Choice cuts include the high-octane ‘Bridge Washed Out’ and ‘I Run To You’ with Connie Smith."

Nick Cristiano at the Philadelphia Inquirer lists the album on his "Best in Country Roots," saying "The country traditionalist has been on a roll over the last decade, and it's capped by this spirited set of mostly originals that nods to Bakersfield, Johnny Cash, and Porter Wagoner."

Rusty Knuckles at Motors, Music & Moonshine listed his top 50 songs from 2010 and had "Porter Wagoner's Grave" at #27, "Hard Working Man" at #21 and "Hangman" at #4.

Damien Fanelli gave a shout out to "Best Guitar Moment," saying "Marty Stuart plays Clarence White’s original Fender B-Bender Telecaster on a new tune, “Hummingbyrd,” from his (Marty Stuart’s) fun new album, Ghost Train: The Studio B Sessions. It sounds a little like The Byrds’ “Nashville West,” which is only fitting, plus it’s got some seriously beautiful B-Bender riffs — and, jeez, he’s playing Clarence White’s guitar! It’s nice to hear it again."'s contributors listed their favorites, then the list was compiled into a final top 10. Ghost Train came in at #2, "As one of the key stewards of traditional country music, Marty Stuart has also crafted a number of exemplary albums that speak to the still-beating heart of the common people. His harmonizing with wife Connie Smith on two songs is alone worth the price of admission, but the best track is “Hangman,” a riveting tale written by Johnny Cash mere days before his death. Stuart pays homage to his musical heroes—Elvis, the Louvin Brothers, Ray Price—and testifies to all the grace and power that can fit in a four-minute country song." — Blake Boldt

Nick at When You Awake listed the album on his top 5 favorites of 2010.

DJ Willis put the album as one of the ten best Indie albums released in 2010 saying, "This one sparkles — and not just because of Stuart’s jacket. A longtime advocate for traditional country music, Stuart lays his striking vocals over glorious work by guitarist Kenny Vaughan and legendary steel guitarist Ralph Mooney. Studio B, where numerous stars for RCA Records recorded their classics, serves as a perfect backdrop for this innovative nod to the past. Stuart wrote a lion’s share of the songs here, including a couple of heartfelt numbers with his wife, Connie Smith. Key tracks: “Crazy Arms,” “Little Heartbreaker (The Likes of You),” “I Run to You.”

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