Compadres: An
Anthology of Duets

Read what the fans have to say

The 9513 Infuze Magazine Midwest Record
All Music Guide Mix Magazine Monsters and
Barnes & Noble Nashville Scene
Best of WNY The New Mexican
BlogCritics Magazine News & Observer
CD Universe San Antonio Express-News
Country Standard Time Village Records
Country Weekly Washington Post

The 9513

June 18, 2007

Glancing over the immense amount of talent represented on the fourteen tracks to Marty Stuart’s Compadres album gets the mind wondering about the vast array of legends that must litter his little black book of addresses. Not only does the album feature performances from some of music’s greatest nobility, it also boasts writing credits from the likes of Bill Monroe, Buddy Holly, Earl Scruggs, the Louvin brothers, and Johnny Horton. Instrumentally, it’s not bad either.

On the third track Stuart reaches back over 30 years to pull a live recording of the Monroe original “Rawhide” with Lester Flatt. He was only fifteen years of age at the time and was already exposing his knack for greatness with his impressive mandolin picking. Every other number appeared on an album between 1990 and 2005 with the exception of the previously unreleased “Will You Visit Me On Sunday” with Loretta Lynn and “I Can See For Miles” with The Old Crow Medicine Show. The former is one of my favorites from the album along with “Crying, Waiting, Hoping” featuring Steve Earle and “Let Us Travel, Travel On” with Del McCoury.

Elsewhere Stuart joins his former father-in-law, Johnny Cash, on “Doin’ My Time” and current wife of ten years, Connie Smith, for a riveting performance on “Hearts Like Ours”. It’s easy to take this album for granted since each song comes from a back catalog of music, but it really is one of the best releases so far this year. Big & Rich could take a note or two from Stuart on how to make so called “music without prejudice” while maintaining quality. [4 out of 5 stars]

By Brody Vercher

June 2007

Many of the tunes on this disc will sound familiar to long-time country fans. Some will be a surprise. But all of them, without any shadow of a doubt, will entertain - because when it comes right down to it, Marty Stuart may be one of the finest entertainers country music has ever seen at any time. Stuart's traditional-minded, genre-bending, extraordinary musicianship has made him friends from all across music's wide swath, from bluegrass to soul to blues to country, and it's all gathered here, on this amazing collection of his finest duets.

Marty Stuart has been performing country music since he was a teenager. In fact, one of those appearances, with Lester Flatt and the Nashville Grass, is highlighted on this collection, with his phenomenal performance, at the tender age of fourteen, of the instrumental "Rawhide" on mandolin. He'd actually started playing for Flatt at thirteen, on rhythm guitar, but moved to mandolin after Flatt's previous mandolin picker (Roland White) left. Stuart stayed with Flatt's band for six years. When Flatt passed away in 1979, Stuart stretched out stylistically, and before he turned twenty, became a member of Johnny Cash's band. But it was 1982's release of Busy Bee Cafe on Sugar Hill Records that really got him started on his own, and he followed up with a few more discs before moving to MCA and making his big breakthrough with the wildly successful Hillbilly Rock in 1989. Three years later, he became a member of the Grand Ole Opry (and remains a regular to this day). He has stretched his musical style, taking on everything from commercial bluegrass to roots blues and back to bluegrass, and never compromised on quality. His 1999 The Pilgrim is perhaps one of the finest pieces of album concept artistry I've ever heard. But art, of course, rarely sells to a mass audience, and so Stuart has been out of the mainstream limelight for a while (but that doesn't mean he's been idle!). [5 stars]

By Kathy Coleman

All Music Guide

June 2007

Marty Stuart released a pair of very fine yet very different recordings in 2005. The first, Souls' Chapel, was an innovative yet rootsy country-gospel set. The second, Badlands: Ballads of the Lakota, was a heart-rending deeply soulful, and sometimes rocking album based on the proud heritage of the Indian-American (the politically correct term in 2007) and what has been lost to the rest of us as this tribe and all others have been decimated by the government sanctioned genocide of the Indian in the 18th, 19th, and early 20th centuries. Stuart issued a Live at the Ryman disc in 2006, and Compadres is a compilation, along with a pair of unreleased cuts, of Stuart's performances with fellow musicians from country, bluegrass, folk, and gospel musics, almost all of them legends. The unissued tracks are an interesting lot.

First up is a beautiful honky tonk duet with Loretta Lynn called "Will You Visit Me on Sunday" (no year), written by the great Dallas Frazier. Both voices are in fine shape, and Lynn's emotive, pure, and classic country alto is just gorgeous. Next is a cover of Pete Townshend's "I Can See for Miles" with Old Crow Medicine Show and his own band the Superlatives. The track keeps its anthemic quality, even with bluegrass fiddle and mandolins ringing along with the acoustic guitars. The vocals are a little ragged and it doesn't quite work for inclusion on any other album, but it would have been a great live collaboration. Other tracks feature Stuart with Steve Earle on a blues rendition of Buddy Holly's "Crying, Waiting, Hoping" with a killer acoustic blues slide intro by Stuart before the rest of the band kicks in with Richard Bennett on electric guitar. This one, included from Not Fade Away from 1996, shows the re-emergence of Earle after a long struggle with his own demons.

Stuart's electric slide work kicks butt, too. He re-creates the performances of the Band and the Staple Singers on Robbie Robertson's "The Weight," from the various-artists compilation Rhythm Country and Blues from 1994 which paired performers from each genre; it's as stirring as anything he's ever recorded. Pops was still alive then (hearing him even now sends chills) and Mavis is in excellent voice (is she ever in anything else?). There's an interesting version of "Rawhide" with Lester Flatt -- Stuart was a member of his band as a teenager -- from a 1974 live album by Flatt, and a 1999 performance with Earl Scruggs from The Pilgrim. Stuart plays mandolin on both cuts. Other tracks include duets with B.B. King, Travis Tritt, Johnny Cash (from 1992 when he was Cash's son-in-law); current wife and country music legend Connie Smith, Merle Haggard, George Jones, Mavis Staples (on a killer read of a Pops Staples tune called "Move Along Train" from the Souls' Chapel disc) and Del McCoury. The Jones track "One Woman Man" (from 1994's Bradley Barn Sessions and written by Johnny Horton) is the only thing here that feels like it doesn't work at all, and sad to say, that has a lot more to do with Jones than Stuart. This is for the hardcore Marty Stuart fan no doubt. That said, it does reveal his tremendous versatility as an instrumentalist, song interpreter, and producer, and the eclectic, wide-ranging nature of his musical obsessions. [3-1/2 stars]

By Thom Jurek

May 2007

Marty Stuart began collaborating with legends when he joined Lester Flatt's Nashville Grass as a 13-year-old mandolinist. One of his biggest singles, 1991's "The Whiskey Ain't Workin'," teamed him with Travis Tritt. This compilation includes a rare Stuart mandolin workout on Bill Monroe's "Rawhide" recorded onstage with Flatt in 1974, and "Hearts Like Ours" with wife Connie Smith. He and ex-father-in-law Johnny Cash created a fiery revival of Cash's Sun recording of "Doin' My Time." With Steve Earle, Stuart created a beautifully understated rendition of Buddy Holly's "Crying, Waiting, Hoping." He was equally adept with Earl Scruggs on "John Henry" and with Merle Haggard on a 2003 "Farmer's Blues." That empathy extended to blues and gospel greats, apparent on "The Weight" with the Staple Singers and "Confessin' the Blues" with B.B. King. Two unreleased tracks include Stuart and Loretta Lynn reviving "Will You Visit Me on Sunday," a tune she'd previously recorded with the late Conway Twitty, and the Who's "I Can See for Miles" with Stuart, his band, and Old Crow Medicine Show. Unlike the many Nashville "vocal events" that are simply contrived marketing ploys, Stuart's collaborations are consistently organic, without a shred of artifice.

By Rich Kienzle

Barnes & Noble

June 2007

The duet has a revered place in country music history, but in the variety of artists he elects to warble with, Marty Stuart has made the form an act of self-definition and self-revelation, while at the same time kicking ass and taking names. History shows that his partners on the other side of the mic know to bring their A games, too, resulting in the best duet recordings of the past decade or so. This anthology, consisting of both previously issued and previously unreleased recordings, takes Stuart from a 15-year-old wunderkind mandolin picker up to the present day. We hear him storming through "Rawhide," following an introduction by Lester Flatt (with whom Stuart began his career at age 13) and offering a soul-deep exploration of Delta gospel in "Move Along Train," a cut from Stuart's powerful 2005 album Souls' Chapel, featuring a sultry Mavis Staples buttressing her male counterpart's bluesy exultation (Handsome Harry Stinson has a star turn, too, with an affecting high tenor lead). Familiar tracks include a touching, topical country blues with Merle Haggard on "Farmer's Blues," a rumbling, ramshackle "Doin' My Time" with former father-in-law Johnny Cash, and a grinding shuffle rendition of Jay McShann's "Confessin' the Blues," from B. B. King's Deuces Wild long-player. Other guests include George Jones, Travis Tritt (this anthology would be incomplete without "The Whiskey Ain't Workin'," one of the classic duet hits of the '90s), Del McCoury, and Mrs. Marty Stuart, the legendary Connie Smith, who reflects with her husband on the power of enduring love in the beautiful ballad "Hearts Like Ours." There are no throwaway tracks here -- Stuart's emotional commitment is gripping, and he makes every moment sound like something's at stake.

By David McGee

Best of WNY

Marty Stuart's latest titled Compadres is a collection of duets Stuart has done over the years with other artists during his long career. Most of this stuff has been released before but is finally assembled from various obscure and commercial releases onto one disc with previously unreleased tracks with Loretta Lynn and Old Crow Medicine Show appearing here. Other collaborating with Stuart includes Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, Travis Tritt, Steve Earle, George Jones, B.B. King and many others. [3 stars]

By Bob Silvestri

BlogCritics Magazine

June 8, 2007

Marty Stuart is one of the best-known least-known artists in country music and beyond. This collection of collaborations between the mandolinist extraordinaire and a bevy of musical heavyweights bears witness to the royal circles he's moved in ever since joining up with Lester Flatt at the ripe old age of thirteen.

Recorded at various sessions and situations over the years, these fourteen tracks show the broad range of Stuart's interests and abilities as singer, interpreter, and of course, player. More importantly, they're just plain good listenin'. From an early "Rawhide" with Flatt, to the gospel "Move Along Train" with Mavis Staples, and back to a curious, nouveau-bluegrass version of The Who's "I Can See For Miles" with Old Crow Medicine Show, this CD is all about good times and good feeling.

Johnny Cash on "Doin' My Time" sounds as bubbly as the Man in Black ever managed. Stuart goes toe to toe with B. B. King in a shuffling "Confessin' the Blues," and on a sloshy bar-room bender with Travis Tritt in "The Whisky Ain't Workin'." The previously unreleased duet with Loretta Lynn on the sweetly sad classic "Will You Visit Me On Sunday" is a small country treasure. Even "John Henry" makes an appearance (in a scintillating instrumental duet with Earl Scruggs), as does the almost as legendary George Jones in "One Woman Man." The Staples Singers' harmonies in "The Weight" approach the sublime (as the Staples Singers are wont to do).

While the album cannot boast a consistent sound, Marty Stuart has a steady and recognizable presence here and wherever he works despite lacking the outlandish sort of personality that lands other stars in the tabloids. Refugees from today's commercial country music might want to think about heading his way.

By Jon Sobel

CD Universe

June 2007

Nashville has rarely looked as kindly on an eclectic spirit as it does on Marty Stuart. Ever the iconoclast--one album he's bluegrass, the next he's gospel, the next he's dabbling in R&B--Stuart still remains a Nashville insider. His new collection, COMPADRES: AN ANTHOLOGY OF DUETS, offers only two unreleased tracks, but acts as a great primer for Stuart's career of genre wanderlust. The standouts are many: "Rawhide," with former mentor Lester Flatt, shows off his mandolin mastery; "Crying, Waiting, Hoping" finds Stuart and Steve Earle ripping through a Buddy Holly standard; and two Staples Singers' appearances--on "The Weight" and "Move Along Train"--point to Stuart's ability to mesh with non-country artists. There's a veritable parade of country legends here as well, including Loretta Lynn ("Will You Visit Me On Sunday") and George Jones ("One Woman Man"); his wife Connie Smith contributes two tracks, and his father-in-law Johnny Cash even helps out with "Doin' My Time" from 1992's This One's Gonna Hurt You. While the genre-hopping feels a little herky-jerk, the listener can't help but be overwhelmed by the breadth of Stuart's talent--and the reach of his black book.

Country Standard Time

Marty Stuart, in recent times a crack producer and archivist, focuses on his own career for this entertaining, albeit uneven, 14-song collection of duets.

Culled from different eras, the songs traverse rural country paeans with Merle Haggard ("Farmer Blues"), Tennessee Three style prison ditties with Johnny Cash ("Doin' My Time") and gospel-infused babyboomer classics with the Staple Singers ("The Weight"). By contrast, Stuart's turns with classic country legends George Jones ("One Woman Man") and Loretta Lynn (the previously unreleased "Will You Visit Me On Sunday") are ragged and shrill, respectively.

At its rootsy best, the disc cooks hardest when Stuart blazes through mandolin riffs as a 15-year-old phenom with Flatt & Scruggs ("Rawhide") or trades licks with banjo master Earl Scruggs ("Mr. John Henry, Steel Driving Man"). Equally fine, are the gorgeous bluegrass harmonies conjured with Del McCoury ("Let Us Travel, Travel On").

Although he is a masterful multi-instrumentalist, Stuart has never demonstrated great vocal range. As a result, the passionate utterances of B.B. King ("Confessin' the Blue"), The Staples ("Move Along Train") and hit duet partner Travis Tritt ("The Whiskey Ain't Working") completely overshadow the star. That said, Stuart's ability to take artistic risks renders this occasionally thrilling set worth hearing.

By Ken Burke

Country Weekly

July 30, 2007
Among his many other attributes, Marty Stuart is a great host. The duets on Compadres span genres and generations, but Marty proves himself a gracious and generous partner throughout. He bends his own style to find common ground with everyone from legendary bluesman B.B. King to young mountain music upstarts Old Crow Medicine Show, and from soul veterans The Staple Singers to country luminaries like his own wife, Connie Smith. "Rawhide," which features a teenage Marty with Lester Flatt and the Nashville Grass in 1974, isn't just a novelty -- it's a barn-burner that earns its spot here.

Unlike most such compilations, Compadres adds up to more than the sum of its parts. These aren't record-label-engineered pairings, but meetings of like-minded artists whose musical philosophy and generosity of spirit mean more than their stylistic differences. Marty's choice of duet partners and the warmth of his interactions with them offer unexpected insights into the parameters of his personality and the depth of his talent. [4 out of 4 stars]

By Chris Neal

October 8, 2007

Some of the people Marty Stuart has met during his three-decade run as a performer are with him on the explanatory Compadres: An Anthology of Duets. What a cast of characters: Cash, Lynn, Jones and Scruggs, to name a few. With a line up like that, you know you're getting a little bit of everything. Pure country and country gospel mix with the blues and bluegrass.

Top of the list is "Move Along Train," a honey of a gospeler with Mavis Staples. "I Can See for Miles" is a fun piece with Old Crow Medicine Show. "Doin' My Time" is time well spent thanks to Johnny Cash. These songs make up a delightful package of Americana music. One minute you're listening to Loretta Lynn, the next you're listening to The Staple Singers. The George Jones duet is an old Possum song, "One Woman Man," with Connie Smith. They join hands and hearts on "Hearts Like Ours." For old-fashioned pickin', listen to Stuart and Earl Scruggs on "Mr. John Henry, The Steel Driving Man."

If you like your music unadulterated - the straight stuff - you will have a good time with Compadre: An Anthology of Duets.

By Frank Roberts

Infuze Magazine

April 26, 2007

An ancient Japanese proverb declares, "When the character of a man is not clear to you, look at his friends." If this holds true for musical duets as well, Marty Stuart is a man of exceedingly fine character. His latest release, Compadres: An Anthology of Duets, captures a number of collaborations recorded over the years with stars from multiple genres. The album showcases the spirit of a young man who started out teaching himself mandolin and fiddle in Philadelphia, Mississippi while spending the better half of his life performing and perfecting his craft, always standing up for tradition and roots.

Compadres truly does offer up a riveting snapshot of Stuart's legacy. The artist began honing his talent after joining up with legend Lester Flatt at the ripe young age of thirteen. While other thirteen-year-olds were fretting over their homework and girls, Stuart was performing tracks like "Rawhide" with Lester Flatt and the Nashville Grass and "Mr. John Henry, The Steel Driving Man" with Earl Scruggs in front of huge crowds. Eventually those gigs ended and Stuart found himself performing as part of Johnny Cash's supporting band. "Doin' My Time" appropriately chronicles that chapter of Stuart's life.

On his way up the ladder, Stuart would meet artists like Steve Earle and good friend Travis Tritt who would both go on to individual success in country music. "Crying, Waiting, Hoping," Stuart's duet with Earle, begins with a bluesy acoustic duel that segues into a solid lovelorn tale while his work with Tritt is represented by the barroom bawler, "The Whiskey Ain't Workin'." Also important to Stuart's rise to fame was his marriage to fellow artist, Connie Smith, with whom he shares the lovely duet, "Hearts Like Ours." Stuart has always stood for the preservation and respect of traditional country roots, championing the pioneers of the genre and even amassing a celebrated collection of memorabilia. That chapter of Stuart's legacy is showcased by a number of tracks. "Farmer's Blues" melds Stuart with Merle Haggard's classic delivery and "One Woman Man" is an upbeat track that finds him trading vocals with none other than country statesman George Jones. Stuart also includes a never-before-released track with Loretta Lynn, "Will You Visit Me on Sunday?."

While primarily known for his work in country music circles, Stuart is also revered as one of the more eclectic musicians around. Here reflects that here with some compelling collaborations. He convincingly tries on the blues with B.B. King on "Confessin' the Blues," plucks his way through some bluegrass with Del McCoury on "Let us Travel, Travel On" and continues in that vein with some progressive bluegrass act, The Old Crow Medicine Show, on a cover of "I Can See for Miles." Last but not least, Stuart would be remiss if he neglected to share his heart of faith here. That is accomplished by the inclusion of "Move Along Train," a rousing gospel track that features Stuart's Fabulous Superlatives as well as Miss Mavis Staples' amazing vocals.

Marty Stuart is one of the most underrated men in music today. He is a remarkably intelligent renaissance man, working not only in music but also as a photographer, writer, and collector. He's soft-spoken, humble, and remarkably talented. Compadres: An Anthology of Duets is a beautiful testimony to a man who has not only worked hard to earn some musical props but who has also earned the respect of his friends.

By Andrew Greenhalgh

Midwest Records

June 12, 2007

When you are far enough ahead of the curve, you get to hit some fun soft balls. This closet cleaning collection of Marty Stuart duets culled from across his entire professional career is simply fun. He has the star and fire power to make this more than the fun kind of curio you get on an indy label. Most of it actually has been previously released, but since it was never meant to hang together as a collection, there’s a certain freshness to it that adds that something extra.

Mix Magazine

September 5, 2007

As time passes, I find myself more and more grateful for Marty Stuart. He’s a great singer, a great musician, but more than that, he’s such an enthusiastic keeper of the roots-country flame. His production of Porter Wagoner’s recent Wagonmaster album (profiled in “Nashville Skyline,” February ’07 issue) is vibrant, authentic and full of soul. A few years back, he produced a Johnny Cash tribute album, Kindred Spirits, that beautifully captured all the singer/songwriter/rock ’n’ roll/country moods of the Man in Black. This summer, Stuart has released Compadres, a compendium of duets he has performed throughout his career; most of these songs have already appeared on other artists’ albums.

Stuart’s great feel and love for the music he plays elevates each performance, from the bluegrass version of “Rawhide” he played with Lester Flatt in 1974 to the version of “One Woman Man” that was first released on George Jones’ Bradley’s Barn Sessions to the countrified gospel soul stew he makes with Mavis Staples on “Move Along Train.” Other highlights include Buddy Holly’s “Crying, Waiting, Hoping,” performed with Steve Earle, and a previously unreleased performance of “Will You Visit Me on Sunday” with Loretta Lynn. There’s not a weak link between Stuart and his Compadres, and a nod must be given to mastering engineer Jim DeMain for seamlessly flowing together 14 tracks that were recorded during more than three decades.

By Barbara Shultz

Monsters and

May 30, 2007

Marty Stuart began collaborating with legends when he joined Lester Flatt's Nashville Grass as a 13-year-old mandolinist. One of his biggest singles, 1991's "The Whiskey Ain't Workin'," teamed him with Travis Tritt. This compilation includes a rare Stuart mandolin workout on Bill Monroe's "Rawhide" recorded onstage with Flatt in 1974, and "Hearts Like Ours" with wife Connie Smith. He and ex-father-in-law Johnny Cash created a fiery revival of Cash's Sun recording of "Doin' My Time." With Steve Earle, Stuart created a beautifully understated rendition of Buddy Holly's "Crying, Waiting, Hoping." He was equally adept with Earl Scruggs on "John Henry" and with Merle Haggard on a 2003 "Farmer's Blues." That empathy extended to blues and gospel greats, apparent on "The Weight" with the Staple Singers and "Confessin' the Blues" with B.B. King. Two unreleased tracks include Stuart and Loretta Lynn reviving "Will You Visit Me on Sunday," a tune she'd previously recorded with the late Conway Twitty, and the Who's "I Can See for Miles" with Stuart, his band, and Old Crow Medicine Show. Unlike the many Nashville "vocal events" that are simply contrived marketing ploys, Stuart's collaborations are consistently organic, without a shred of artifice

By Rich Kienzle

Nashville Scene

May 31, 2007

Compadres: An Anthology of Duets features Stuart in tandem with artists such as Merle Haggard, Cash and Steve Earle, and reveals him as a master of the light touch. The previously unreleased cover of The Who’s “I Can See for Miles” pairs him with Old Crow Medicine Show, whose harmonies breathe new life into the song. Stuart and Mavis Staples take a pass at Robbie Robertson’s “The Weight,” but here the weight of historical association flattens the performance.

Still, Compadres demonstrates that country music can be the most inclusive of arts. Stuart’s willingness to work with artists as different as Staples and Earle says as much about the state of the music as does any collection of artifacts.

By Edd Hurt.

The New Mexican

September 27,. 2007

Marty is the kind of guy you’d want to have on just about any country record you’d want to make. He’s a good singer, an excellent instrumentalist, and, in general, has impeccable tastes. Here he shares songs with other country singers — Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash, George Jones, Earl Scruggs, and Steve Earle. And there are a few tunes from the realms of blues and soul sung with B.B. King, the Staple Singers, and Mavis Staples on her own. Most of these have been released before, though previously unavailable songs include Loretta Lynn’s powerful prison tune “Will You Visit Me on Sunday” and the Old Crow Medicine Show’s crazy bluegrassy rendition of The Who’s “I Can See For Miles.”

One real treat is a 1974 recording of a teenage Stuart playing a mandolin solo with his mentor Lester Flatt. Marty flies on the old Bill Monroe instrumental “de.” Funny thing is, Stuart seems just as enthusiastic about music now as he did back then.

News & Observer

June 3, 2007

Marty Stuart might be Nashville's most admired ambassador. Stuart, 48, knows everyone of note in Nashville and has recorded and performed in the company of giants.

A giant of an artist in his own right, Stuart has marshaled some of his history on Compadres: An Anthology of Duets (arriving June 5 on Superlatone), a satisfying 14-track CD. A retrospective of his 35-year career, it showcases his talents and his eclectic tastes.

The earliest track features Stuart as a 15-year-old mandolin player with Lester Flatt and the Nashville Grass, the prodigy blistering a live version of Bill Monroe's "Rawhide" as Monroe listens attentively backstage. The latest cuts were recorded for Compadres: the Who's "I Can See for Miles" with Old Crow Medicine Show and "Will You Visit Me on Sunday," a stunning back-and-forth with Stuart as a condemned young man facing the gallows and Loretta Lynn promising her love "until the day of silver hair."

No Stuart anthology would be complete without a track featuring his former father-in-law, Johnny Cash. The prison song "Doin' My Time" kicks off with thumping Tennessee Two-styled rhythm riffs and intensifies as Cash's sonorous baritone joins Stuart's tenor. The family theme continues as Stuart and his wife, Connie Smith, serenade each other with the wonderfully romantic ballad "Hearts Like Ours."

Other duets are equally notable: "Mr. John Henry, the Steel Driving Man" with banjoist Earl Scruggs, "Confessin' the Blues" with B.B. King, "The Weight" with the Staple Singers, "The Whiskey Ain't Workin' " with Travis Tritt, "One Woman Man" with George Jones and "Farmer's Blues" with Merle Haggard.

By Jack Bernhardt

San Antonio Express-News

Stuart, a country purist with a hankering for rock, brings his avocation as country music's leading historian with this issue of duets with the likes of Lester Flatt, Johnny Cash (his former father in-law), Connie Smith (his wife), Del McCoury, George Jones and B.B. King.

Village Records

This is really nice. This set features fourteen of his duets from over the years including a couple of unreleased gems. He’s one of the greats so it’s probably not hard for him to find others to sing with. Country duets are tough to pull off, but our boy here knows what he’s doing. He shares the mic with Cash, Haggard, Jones, Steve Earle, Mavis Staples and many others. One of the unreleased cuts features him and Old Crow Medicine Show covering the Who’s “I Can See For Miles.”

Washington Post

September 14, 2007

As Duet Collections go, Compadres: An Anthology of Duets stands apart. About 30 years in the making, it's an audio scrapbook of sorts, one that documents country music star Marty Stuart's knack for being in the right place at the right time, onstage and off, with an extraordinary roster of artists: In addition to early mentor Lester Flatt and former father-in-law Johnny Cash, Stuart teams with Loretta Lynn, Merle Haggard, George Jones, Connie Smith, Earl Scruggs, Steve Earle, Mavis Staples, B.B. King, Del McCoury and Travis Tritt, among others. The lineup alone is enough to make Stuart's rhinestone-encrusted duds seem a little drab by comparison.

Some tracks are familiar -- the Tritt-featured concert staple "The Whiskey Ain't Workin' " is a prime example -- but the highlights tend to be more revealing or engaging. Among the treats: Flatt and Stuart, then a 15-year-old mandolin-playing phenom, tearing through "Rawhide" in concert; Stuart and Cash, in the early '90s, collaborating on "Doin' My Time"; Lynn, in fine voice, turning up on the previously unreleased "Will You Visit Me on Sunday"; Stuart and Earle fusing blues, country and seminal rock sounds on Buddy Holly's "Crying, Waiting, Hoping."

Of course, when it comes to deeply soulful singing, Stuart is no match for the company he keeps here. But he holds his own as a vocalist, whether handling the lead or adding harmonies, and there's certainly no shortage of sparks and twang when his virtuosity on mandolin and guitar comes into play.

By Mike Joyce

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