Tritt, Stuart, O'Connor Turn It On For Fans Of Rowdy Country

This review appeared in The Arizona Daily Star - October 29, 1992

More and more, country music is becoming the choice of younger fans bred on the raucous sound of rock 'n' roll. And partially responsible for this trend are artists such as Travis Tritt and Marty Stuart, who brought their energetic "No Hats" tour to the Pima County Fairgrounds Thursday night.

They're been performing on the same bill for the better part of this year, and the show has won considerable acclaim. The Country Music Association named it "the vocal event of the year" at its most recent awards show.

A crowd of 6,345 serious partyers showed up to cheer on the boys, but some Tucson fans already may have seen this concert when it was aired as a pay-per-view cable event earlier this month. That didn't diminish the excitement generated by Tritt and Stuart. For the most part, the 3-1/2 hour show was a rowdy good time, never quite out of control but full of well-rehearsed commotion.

Stuart came out near the end of Tritt's set and the two chased each other around the stage goofily, playing guitar solos here and there. Of course, they performed "The Whiskey Ain't Workin'," their popular duet. Cover versions of Bob Seger's "Night Moves" and the Marshall Tucker Band's "Can't You See?" (a tour de force featuring both Stuart and opening act Mark O'Connor) were performed lovingly. One might argue that these rock classics seemed even more vital in the hands of this dynamic band.

Stuart, who got his start about 20 years ago playing with Lester Flatt and Johnny Cash, performed for about an hour earlier. His "hillbilly rock" sound owes a bit to rockabilly and much to the immortal style of Porter Wagoner, whose name he invoked at one point.

A stirring singer and guitarist, Stuart seemed to appeal most to young women in the audience. They screamed at the mere flick of his wrist. So when he'd press his knees together and squirm while lasciviously singing "touch me, turn me on, burn me down," those screams rose in ecstasy.

And although he's a hunky fellow with some serious hairsprayed hair and wiggle in his walk, Stuart played some righteous, thumping hillbilly music, from "Western Girls" to the Buddy Holly-esque "Tempted."

He also did his recent hit, "This One's Gonna Hurt You," to which the audience sang along, replacing Tritt who sings on the single with Stuart.

Review written by Gene Armstrong

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