As time passes, I find myself more and more grateful for Marty Stuart. He’s a great singer, a great musician, but more than that, he’s such an enthusiastic keeper of the roots-country flame. His production of Porter Wagoner’s recent Wagonmaster album (profiled in “Nashville Skyline,” February ’07 issue) is vibrant, authentic and full of soul. A few years back, he produced a Johnny Cash tribute album, Kindred Spirits, that beautifully captured all the singer/songwriter/rock ’n’ roll/country moods of the Man in Black. This summer, Stuart has released Compadres, a compendium of duets he has performed throughout his career; most of these songs have already appeared on other artists’ albums.
Stuart’s great feel and love for the music he plays elevates each performance, from the bluegrass version of “Rawhide” he played with Lester Flatt in 1974 to the version of “One Woman Man” that was first released on George Jones’ Bradley’s Barn Sessions to the countrified gospel soul stew he makes with Mavis Staples on “Move Along Train.” Other highlights include Buddy Holly’s “Crying, Waiting, Hoping,” performed with Steve Earle, and a previously unreleased performance of “Will You Visit Me on Sunday” with Loretta Lynn. There’s not a weak link between Stuart and his Compadres, and a nod must be given to mastering engineer Jim DeMain for seamlessly flowing together 14 tracks that were recorded during more than three decades.
Producer: Marty Stuart. Collection mastered by Jim DeMain/Yes Master (Nashville).