What the Fans are saying about the album, Country Music

Not Quite What the Title Implies, July 21, 2003
Reviewer: A music fan from Alexandria, VA

Look, I'm not afraid of a little alt or a little rock in my country. But, what I don't quite get about Marty Stuart's Country Music is that, despite the retro-packaging (love the early '60s Columbia label artwork on the CD), the CD title (good luck trying to find that via search engines) and the bonus "promo" CD, this isn't hardcore country. As he has done on his las several outtings, Stuart straddles the line between country...and, well, something else. Generous use of electric guitar, non-country chord changes and even a little rap (???) suggests this ain't your father's country. To quote Seinfeld: Not that there's anything wrong with that. But, it's not what you'd expect given the "hardcore country" marketing blitz associated with this CD. Best cuts: "Walls of Prison" (kudos for digging up this hidden Johnny Cash gem, which borrows the tune of "Streets of Laredo"), "Farmer's Blues" (with Merle Haggard) and "Too Much Month." Not a bad CD, but if you were left cold by Stuart's "The Pilgrim" and "Honky Tonkin'" outtings, this one will not convince you the boy can play "Country Music."

Traditional Country Triumph, July 14, 2003
Reviewer: davemax from Mentor, Ohio United States

Marty Stuart seems to be able to take traditional country music and present it in a modern setting without making it pop or rock like the vast majority of what is at the top of the country charts these days. First of all, his song selection is a great blend of old and new. "Farmer Blues" is the standout of this CD. But his remake of the Johnny Cash song "Walls of A Prison" is a very close second. "A Satisfied Man" starts the CD on a high note and the remainder of the tunes match that standard.
If this CD agrees with you ,take a look back at The Pilgrim which was criminally under-rated by the Nashville powers that be. That CD has to be Stuart's finest to date, if not one of the top recordings out of Nashville in quite a few years.

One look at Marty Stuart's resume and you will quickly understand why he can play traditional country better than anyone else in the younger generation. True country music will be heard as long as Marty Stuart keeps playing.

If Country Music Ain't This Good...It Ought To Be...., September 24, 2003
Reviewer: jayhawk103 from Topeka, Kansas United States

Marty follows up his opus The Pilgrim with a perfect blend of country-rock. Some will criticize that he did not follow up The Pilgrim with a more serious, reflective project. HOGWASH. The Pilgrim was a once in a lifetime experience. Country Music is Marty at his hillbilly rock best.

"Country Music", Indeed!, September 19, 2003
Reviewer: Jef Fazekas from Newport Beach, California United States

Over the last decade or so, Marty Stuart has gone out of his way to keep the tradition that is country music alive and well. From museums to the presidency of various groups, photography to producing and writing for others, he's done it all. That's why it's so cool to see Country Music materialize....Stuart's most complete, concise release to date. And it's not just the musical stylings of Stuart's 20+ year career that are comprehensive...it's all country music. The wonder that is Country Music is that Stuart is able to approach country sub-genres he hasn't attempted in the past - as well as those he has! - and master each and every one of them! The disc opens with a triple threat...first up is "A Satisfied Mind." I know I've heard this song before by someone else (I can't remember who, though!), but it doesn't matter; Stuart makes it his own. With an assured vocal and the sterling guitar riffs (both electric and steel) of Stuart, Kenny Vaughan and Robby Turner, the song is both forceful and heartfelt at the same time. "Fool For Love" could have just as easily been lifted off a Chris Isaak album. The instrumentation swirls around the melody as Stuart delivers one of his most romantic lead vocals to date. Cushioned by the heavenly backing vocals of Harry Stinson, Brian Glenn and Tom Douglas, this song is just flat out gorgeous! Up next is "If There Ain't There Ought'a Be." Picture country rap...really!...and it works! Practically rapping the verses and singing the chorus, Stuart ponders why some of the most logical "ought'a be's" don't exist. Toss in some banjo and fiddle and you have one of the best, most original, country singles this year! "Here I Am" is a bare-bones ode to accept a lover for what they are, warts and all. Country radio would be wise to jump on this track....it's a hit waiting to happen! Special note has to be made of Stuart's stunningly powerful lead vocal. Next we have "Sundown In Nashville", a toe-tapping western swing number full of attitude (the cry-in-your-beer kind!) and heartache. The song fits Stuart perfectly, sort of like one of his Manuel jackets, and is a prime example of how easily he can hop from sub-genre to sub-genre, making each and every one his own. In lesser hands "By George" would have just been your typical country novelty song, but Stuart raises it to a whole other level. Playful, sexy and fun, it also showcases the closet rocker that's lurking in his soul! Next..."Farmer's Blues." Marty Stuart. George Jones. 'Nuff said. "Wishful Thinkin'" is a mournful bluegrass number that, at the same time, succeeds at kicking out the jams. Once again, Stuart is totally at ease and in his element, and it really shows on this beaut. Another potential single! Stuart's continued vocal growth and prowess once again shines thru on "If You Wanted Me Around." Authoritative, yet sincere, he projects the song's message of longing, hope and devotion without ever really raising his voice much above a speaking level. That, my friends, is true singing! "Too Much Month (At The End Of The Money)" is a goofy novelty song that's both funny and clever, and both Stuart and his band seem to be having a good time with it (special mention has to be made of Tony Harrell's amazing piano playing!). "Tip Your Hat" is a tribute to all the country legends who have come before Stuart, and the need to remember and acknowledge them. This brilliant blend of traditional country and hard rock is delivered from the heart, and it's a shame more of today's Big Hat Boys don't share in Stuart's feelings, actions and commitments towards what's come before. This would have been the perfect place for Country Music to end...instead things are wrapped up with the downbeat "Walls Of A Prison." A classic country story-song, Stuart's vocal is powerful, but the song closes the disc on a down note, and that is so NOT what Country Music is about! It would have been better if this track had been placed somewhere in the middle of the mix. But that's a minor nitpick. The fact is, Country Music is Marty Stuart's most comprehensive/intelligent/fun release to date. In fact, it could very well turn out to be his career masterpiece. And you can't ask for much more than that!

Marty lost his identity a long time ago, September 14, 2003
Reviewer: A music fan from Nashville, TN

Marty Stuart's passion for the history and soul of country music is, at once, his strength and downfall as an artist. While he is to be commended for his role in keeping the past alive, who is he as an artist? For about the last 10 years, he's been all over the map, seemingly trying so hard to be all things to all people that his music has suffered.

What has always made the great ones great is that they have a style and a sound while keeping it fresh. Dwight Yoakam comes to mind, as do Johnny Cash and Alan Jackson. While this CD has some good moments that harken back to the days when Marty Stuart was playing hillbilly rock, it once again does little to inspire a listener.

For whatever reasons, Marty abandoned his niche about a decade ago, and things have never been the same for him commercially. Record sales have taken a dive. While that might be OK with Marty, the people have spoken for a reason.

Marty, if you ever get back to what it is you do well and redisocver your identity, rather than making music simply to keep ghosts alive, I'll buy your music again.

Pure pleasure, August 30, 2003
Reviewer: Carol Anderson from Falls Church, VA USA

I haven't heard a record that made me grin like this one does in a good while. I love everything about it and hope it earns Marty some renewed attention. "Farmers Blues" with the Hag is truly special. Give it a listen.

Great Country Record, August 29, 2003
Reviewer: A music fan from West Carrollton, OH United States

Fabulous record! Marty is very unique. He honors classic country while being fresh and new at the same time. "Farmer's Blues" is a great, classic song. Satisfied Mind is easy to listen to and does the original justice. Very original material with great guitar sounds.

Best CD I bought in years, August 28, 2003
Reviewer: Larry Fangman from Omaha, NE USA

I am surprised to read negative comments about this CD. This is the first Marty Stuart CD I bought, and I think it is the best country CD I have purchased in the last few years. I do not think there is a bad song on it, and it is a great mix between traditional country songs and uptempo songs. The song "By George" is awesome. I challenge you to listen and not sing along. "Too Much Month at the End of the Money" is unfortunately for me, true--but also an enjoyable song. I really liked "A Satisfied Mind," and truth be told, after a few listens, there is not a song I do not like. I hope he gets the hit single or two that this album deserves so people are exposed to it and buy it. Plus, the album only cost me $9.99. Buy it and reward the artist/company that puts out a quality product at a fair price.

It's not the greatest album, but it's still good., August 25, 2003
Reviewer: Danny from Vermont

After all of the hype about the CD, I have to admit that I was expecting a lot more out of it. It has a lot of rock-a-billy, which he is famous for, but quite a few of the tunes are lacking (specifically "Fool for Love"). But there are a few good tunes. "By George" is a light-hearted song, along with "Tip Your Hat" and "Too Much Month.....". Luckily the price is unbelieveably low at all locations, so even if you don't like it, there won't be a huge financial loss.

No Pilgrim, but better than 99.9% of whats out there!, August 13, 2003
Reviewer: Ronald J. Isherwood from Fort Collins, Colorado USA

I am not a huge fan of current country. I do like the "Outlaw" genre of Willie, Waylon, Johnny Cash and Merle. That said 1999's The Pilgrim is one the of best albums/CDs ever released period. IMHO, it ranks with Pet Sounds, Who's next, Kind of Blue as a true desert island disk. So it is no wonder that following it up would be a herculian task. Country Music is a great album. Full of great songs and performances. I would not hesitate recomending it to any of my aging rocker friends and look forward to Marty's next release.

Not very "country", August 12, 2003
Reviewer: A music fan from Riding the bus

While there is SOME "real" country on this, the little that is on, seems to be plagiarized. For example, "Farmer's Blues" is a good song. It is VERY country....but, take note! When I first heard this, I thought the tune sounded a LOT like the old Hank Williams, Sr. song, "I Heard That Lonesome Whistle Blow"...and it didn't stop there. A line was lifted right out of the Hank, Sr. song, too, about him hanging his head and crying, "when the evening train goes by"--and it's at the same place in the tune as Hank's line . I'm sure the song was on the subconscious mind of Marty and Connie when they wrote this, so, I wouldn't call this "original".

worst one yet?, August 5, 2003
Reviewer: Jason Caviness from Waco, Texas United States

Marty Stuart's last record, The Pilgrim, was the best one he's created...this one may be the worst. There are a couple of solid songs on it..."Sundown in Nashville", the duet with Merle Haggard and "A Satisfied Mind". Everything is just plain old bad. Marty Stuart has really written some solid country songs in the past ("This One's Gonna Hurt You"), but the songwriting for this one was terrible for the most part. If he had a concert in town tomorrow night, I'd go see him because he is always entertaining...but it doesn't change the fact that this collection of songs is bad, bad, bad. If Marty's songwriting well has gone dry, he'd be better off making an album of covers of old country standards.

half-good, August 1, 2003
Reviewer: Jerome Clark from Canby, Minnesota

There is so much to like about Marty Stuart as both musician and human being that one experiences no pleasure in not being taken with something he's done, such as this strangely disappointing album. It has its points, but not, sadly, enough of them to carry the day.

Country Music turns out to be not entirely what the title promises. Marty being Stuart, one would have expected more than some unmemorable rock and pop songs, along with -- of course -- some acceptable, actual country and rockabilly. On the plus side is a tasteful modern arrangement of the Porter Wagoner classic "A Satisfied Mind." There is also the Stuart/Haggard duet "Farmer's Blues," with its country/folk ambiance and sincere, if predictable, lyrics. "Fool for Love" reminds one that not all country-pop songs are bad (just most of them). Johnny Cash's chilling "Walls of a Prison" is set to the traditional Irish melody ("The Bard of Armagh") that also served "Streets of Laredo." The honky-rock "Nashville Sundown" offers up a bracingly unsentimental portrait of a city that's all about business, whatever the human cost.

Though never terrible, embarrassing, or stupid, the rest of the songs are not particularly exciting, distinguished, or, really, all that different from the Nashville pap for which Stuart so often rightly expresses disdain.

attention peoples..., July 31, 2003
Reviewer: An Amazon.com Customer

if you wear blue jeans..i think you ought to buy this album...

Marty Stuart knows a thing or two about country music!, July 23, 2003
Reviewer: D-dog from Illinois

After all, he's one of the best singer/songwriter/guitarists/mandolin players in the business. He's also not a bad producer. And on this album, all his talents shine!

The album kicks off with "A Satisfied Mind," about how money can't bring you happiness. "Fool For Love" has a haunting sound to it, as does the superb and engaging "If You Wanted Me Around" and the moving Johnny Cash song "Walls of a Prison."

"If There Ain't There Oughta Be" is a good, upbeat song about how life SHOULD be like, but it doesn't really fit with the rest of this album. "Here I Am" is one of the highlights: a lowbeat ballad with "classic" written all over it. "Sundown In Nashville" is an upbeat song about broken dreams in music city.

"By George" is a hilarous rocker, while "Farmer's Blues" (featuring the always-great Merle Haggard) is about small-town life and a farmer's future. "Wishful Thinkin'" is engaging, while "Too Much Month (At the End of the Money)" is quirky and true to life. "Tip Your Hat" is a tribute to the great country players and the country folk who made them famous.

This CD sparkles and overflows with talent. Marty Stuart has struck again, creating an album for people who have seen a cow and work around them (i.e., country folk living in the country). This is a down-to-earth CD, about real life from a guy who's lived it. Marty Stuart's Country Music is an excellent album. Hell, the title says it all!

Marty Stuart has a 'superlative' band, July 15, 2003
Reviewer: A music fan from Walla Walla, WA United States

On a whim I went to see Marty Stuart perform in the Merle Haggard traveling show 'Electric Barnyard'. I'll admit I was very impressed with the new material he performed in his show. It was a revalation to see a country/roots music practitioner show why American music is like no other. Marty Stuart has done a great service to himself, his fans and all of country music by giving being true to his art.

finally! real country music, July 13, 2003
Reviewer: A music fan from Nashville

Marty Stuart has done it again! He has made a record full of great country music. He doesn't care if his music will make it on CMT's countdown, or if he will hear his songs on Country's Top 40. If you like Kenny Chesney, or Tim McGraw, or Toby Keith...this is not for you. This is REAL country music...made for the people...not the money. Marty's last release, The Pilgrim, was one of a kind...it was one of the greatest country records of the past 20 years. But as Marty says himself, the public didn't buy. But everyone else inside the music industry will name it as one of their favorites. Marty is a legend and will be aroud forever (unlike Kenny Chesney, who is like the gum that sticks to your shoe...it's annoying and irritating for a while cuz it is kinda sticky, and you hope it will just go away on it's own, but eventually you get rid of it, even if you have to throw the shoe away). If you haven't seen Marty live yet, you have really been missing something. I am happy that I am young and will enjoy Marty Stuart music for the rest of my life...Marty has lots more to give us. I can hardly wait for what's next. oh, by the way, the last review on this site said that Marty can be heard yodelling...not true...it is actually Merle Haggard that yodels on the song "Farmers Blues", not Marty.

COUNTRY MUSIC is..., July 13, 2003
Reviewer: suncountry from TARPON SPRINGS, FLORIDA USA

Marty Stuart's new CD, Country Music is just what the title offers. It probably will never crack the current pop/country radio stations, but it is definitely worth purchasing if you like pure country music. Stuart nimbly picks and travels the gamut of traditional country/bluegrass/hillbilly. His voice is much richer than in past outings and the song selections are excellent. As always, he is backed by a terrific group of musicians and guest artists. The opening track grabs you and leads you the rest of the way. The music moves from simple, serious, love songs and fun songs. It's good to hear from Marty again!

Finally, real Country Music!, July 9, 2003
Reviewer: vrgroner from Bloomington, IN

The music is truly country. Original, twangy, rockabilly country. Some of the standouts are, "A Satisfied Mind" which is a classic Porter Waggoner tune, "Sundown in Nashville," where they sweep broken dreams from the streets, "Farmer's Blues" with Merle Haggard, "Too Much Month (At the End of the Money)" and "Walls of Prison", an old Johnny Cash song that Marty absolutely nails. "Tip Your Hat" is probably the weakest song on the CD, though the playing of Josh Graves and Earl Scruggs on it makes it passable. There is some great mandolin playing by Marty, though not enough for me since Marty is one of my favorite mandolin players. There are appearances by Josh Graves and Earl Scruggs, and Marty actually yodeling. Kenny Vaughan and Marty do some really tasty picking throughout. Its truly blood pumping country music that gives me hope that country music may actually survive the onslaught of current Music Row thinking. It's great to see Marty back and even better to see he is continuing where The Pilgrim left off.

Another fabulous Marty record!, July 4, 2003
Reviewer: A music fan from Leesburg, FL United States

Country Music is fabulous. The guitar work on this CD is absolutely great, something that is missing from most country music. Marty Stuart and Kenny Vaughan are the best. I loved "A Satisfied Mind" and could listen to it all day. Marty has never sounded better than on "Here I Am". If you want to hear good country music and fabulous guitar and mandolin buy this record. If you miss Johnny Cash give a listen to "Walls of a Prison", it reminded me of why Johnny was so great. "Farmer's Blues" will be a classic. Great vocals from Marty and Merle Haggard.

Matt Bjork

I just got this fine CD today and it is a delightful mix of up-tempo country music. Marty has been out of the loop since 1999’s fine concept album The Pilgrim but this CD proves he’s never left and he has a cool band with him for good measure. “A Satisfied Mind” is a great remake as is the album closer “Walls of a Prison” but the real jewels are a duet with the Hag, Merle Haggard, on “Farmer’s Blues” and The fun spoken verse songs “Tip Your Hat” (which features Josh Graves on Dobro and Earl Scruggs on Banjo) and the first single “If There Ain’t There Ought’a Be.”

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