Cowboys Crowd Pleaser

This appeared in the Calgary Sun - September 24, 1998

Honky-tonkin' is what Marty Stuart does best.

The 750 frenzied fans who jammed Cowboys Dance Hall on Tuesday night to party with Marty did not leave disappointed. To thunderous applause, Stuart arrived onstage to strut his stuff dressed in a black shirt and pants, sans sequins. Gone were the flashy, colourful ensembles that were once Stuart's preferred attire.

The man in black treated the crowd to his tried-and-true canon of hits, opening with "Hey Baby" and following that with "The Whiskey Ain't Workin' Anymore," a song he initially recorded with buddy Travis Tritt.

Backed by an exuberant, energized four-piece band, Stuart's bluegrass and rockabilly roots took centre stage as he sizzled through "Tempted."

"This One's Gonna Hurt You," "Burn Me Down," "Western Girls," "Little Things," "Hillbilly Rock" and "Now That's Country" all provided Stuart with a vehicle to perform his rambunctious, speaker-leaping theatrics during his 90-minute show, which included one encore.

Stuart's phenomenal guitar skills were evident as he performed an instrumental version of "Doin' My Time" -- originally recorded with Johnny Cash -- with precision and panache.

After spending an evening listening to Stuart, it's easy to see why he's regarded by many as country music's Renaissance Man.

By Brittany Jayde Avery

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