Double Trouble Tour Is Thrice As Good With Tritt, Stuart, Loveless

Great Woods, Mansfield, MA

This appeared in Country Standard Time - June 23, 1996

The tour is being billed as the "Double Trouble" tour. But Travis Tritt and Marty Stuart, once again reviving their musical magic, encountered much competition Sunday from overpowering opener Patty Loveless and, to a much-lesser extent, Diamond Rio.

Stuart was really the greatest sparkplug all night with his over-the-top set. The year-long tour follows, by three years, Tritt and Stuart's outings following the success of "The Whiskey Ain't Workin' Anymore." In their new venture, the two quickly clicked from the get-go.

Tritt joined Stuart's band at the outset of his set with the hit and title track of Stuart's fine new CD, "Honky Tonkin's What I Do Best." At one point, Stuart referred to Tritt as "my brother." It was easy to understand why.

They just seemed so in sync singing "Honky Tonkin's" along with "Shelter From the Storm" which they performed on barstools at the edge of the stage with Tritt's lead guitarist Wendell Cox and bassist Jon Bonnette, "This One's Gonna Hurt You" before slamming home the long evening at the end of Tritt's set with "Hard Times and Misery," "Whiskey" and "Double Trouble."

Each clearly held the other in great esteem with Stuart's guitar playing and the vocal interplay between the two the highlights. Stuart did not need to rely on Tritt to power his set. He only had to turn to this new disc and one-crack band in a scorching appearance that rarely let up.

The songs are uniformly top notch, whether in the trademark upbeat Stuart mold ("Country Girls" and "Rocket Ship") or ballads ("Thanks to You"). And he has a worthy catalogue from which to cull as well with "Kiss Me I'm Gone" proving to be superior to the recorded version and "Now That's Country" particular highlights.

The beauty of Stuart was that he did not rely on rehashing his songs note for note. He clearly had mucho confidence in his band--Brad Davis on guitar, Steve Arnold on bass, powerhouse drummer Gregg Stocki and Gary Hogue on pedal steel--to reinvent and stretch out the songs.

And while Stuart's voice is not particularly strong, even there he proved up to the task.

Review by Jeffrey B. Remz

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