Marty Stuart - Hillbilly Rock (Video Collection Review)

This appeared in New Country Magazine - July 1994

Three questions about Marty Stuart:

1. How many shiny, sparkly jackets can one man own?

2. How does this same man get away with showing his bluejeaned rump so many times in one video?

3. Does this guy ever have a bad hair day?

These are the questions before us as we watch and enjoy Stuart's latest video collection, Hillbilly Rock. The 25-minute tape shows Stuart wiggling, strutting and rocking through eight of his videos, including a get-off-the-couch clip of "Hillbilly Rock" and a studio duet with hatless compadre Travis Tritt on "This One's Gonna Hurt You (or A Long, Long Time)." Stuart wisely covers the cream of his video output with selections from his last four albums.

Take points off for often using cookie-cutter images of women, but Stuart makes up for it with his reverent nods to country's rich past, a habit those who have followed this Mississippian's career know is not just for show. Stuart dedicates the first video, "Cry, Cry, Cry," to picker Luther Perkins, who cut the song as part of Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two on Sun Records in 1955. Stuart was schooled in country's rich early history as he toured with Lester Flatt and the Nashville Grass and Johnny Cash's band before striking out as a solo act.

Then again, there's some pretty lecherous leering as Stuart picks up a shapely Nashville--bound hitchhiker (kids, do not try this at home) in the boogie-woogie-tinged "Little Things." In "Kiss Me, I'm Gone," the lone clip from his latest album, Love And Luck, Stuart tones down the flashy wardrobe for the video's circus setting, but this camera-friendly grinner will stand out.

The collection doesn't do a lot of creative story-telling and instead relies heavily on "live" stage footage (most apparent on "Hey Baby"), the kiss of death for most performers' videos. But Stuart pulls it off with sheer stage presence. Credit directors Stephen Buck, Joanne Gardner and John Lloyd Miller for translating that excitement to these videos. This one's gonna stay in your VCR for a long, long, time.

By Suzanna Morrissey

Return To Articles Return To Home Page