Something To Crow About

Marty Stuart Applauds Tuesday Night Music Club

This appeared in New Country Magazine - January 1995

Lover of tradition though he is, Marty Stuart's always looking for new twists on old ideas. So when he heard Bill Bottrell's twisty, dizzying pedal-steel lines on "All I Wanna Do," last year's breakthrough single for rock singer Sheryl Crow, Stuart found himself hooked. Of course, Crow's Tuesday Night Music Club isn't a country record by any stretch of the imagination: "This ain't no disco, and it ain't to country club either," she says at the start of "All I Wanna Do," possibly trying to distance herself from both New York and Nashville--"This is L.A." Stuart doesn't mind, though. Nudie suits aside, he's no purist. And his latest album, Love And Luck, features some nifty steel playing of its own, courtesy of Nashville session player Paul Franklin on songs like "Kiss Me, I'm Gone" and "That's What Love's About." - Brian Mansfield

A lot of times, sounds draw me from words. And that wacky steel guitar on "All I Wanna Do" pulled me in. I love that steel. It sounds like the amp was sitting underwater and gurgling--about to burp or something.

Nashville's got a very cut-and-dried way of playing steel guitar. California steel guitar sounds completely different than Nashville-style steel. And rock 'n' roll hippie steel is cool, too. It's usually kind of out of tune and sloppy and that's a welcome change. It's like listening to Ernest Tubb or Webb Pierce sing--the notes are never exactly where they ought to be, but it's the spirit of the deal.

Keith Richards once told me that when they want Ronnie Wood to play steel on a song, they just say "Hey Ronnie, tune up!" And while he's tuning, they tape it and say "Thanks!" That's the kind of feel "All I Wanna Do" has.

That's actually what got me into Sheryl Crow. Which reminds me--that's the way it's all supposed to work. You see somebody, you like them, you go out and buy their record and listen to it a few times. That's what turned me on.

I had seen the tail end of "Leaving Las Vegas," her first video, but I'd never seen the whole thing. I had to find her in bits and pieces, until I could luck into a good look at her. Since then, I've been listening to her. I saw her on Jay Leno first, but I just caught half of that song. She just looked like a star. She looked like she showed up out of the Valley to be a star and have some fun.

I like her songwriting. I think she's an excellent songwriter. I like her guitar playing. She just has this thing about her. She's a pretty lady, the whole package is there. Especially I like her songwriting and her kind of quirky sense of humor. She strikes me as somebody who's hip enough to listen to bluegrass and Led Zeppelin and everything in between.

I really haven't been analytical about Tuesday Night Music Club yet. It's just one I put on in the middle of the summer when everything sounds jumbled to me anyway and it stood out as a fresh piece of business. There's some other great songs on the album. I like "Strong Enough," which sounds a little like a country ballad. And "I Shall Believe" suggests she has roots in gospel music--that's one I love, too. It showcases her spectrum as a songwriter.

But "All I Wanna Do" is the one that caught me. There's one line I really love--"I like a good beer buzz early in the morning." I've never heard that used before. Just about every line in that particular song is pretty brilliant, I think. It's kind of like "Hound Dog" or something like that--it's nothing to think about, you just get inside the groove and take a ride.

By Marty Stuart

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