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Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives - Live At The Ryman
Review By Jim Moulton, CSO Staff Journalist

The Fabulous Superlatives are Kenny Vaughan/ acoustic guitar and vocals, Harry Stinson/ snare drum and vocals and Brian Glenn/ bass and vocals. Last minute guests included Stuart Duncan/ fiddle, Charlie Cushman/ banjo and Uncle Josh Groves/ Dobro and vocals. Recorded by Lee Banks and mastered by Jim Demain/Yes Mastering. 

Marty Stuart had been touring the country with Merle Haggard doing a show called The Electric Barnyard Tour. He had forgotten about the Ryman date and when reminded by assistant Maria-Elena Orbea, he had to think of what to do, to augment his three piece band, he had Stuart Duncan, Josh Groves and Charlie Cushman called in to help out. No way was this supposed to be a record, Stuart did not know that the show was being recorded.
Stuart had decided to keep it simple, playing stuff that everyone knew. The day of the show, they did a twenty minute sound check and headed for the dressing room. The forty five minutes here is just great bluegrass music with some great musicians havin' fun. The banter between the musicians is left in as is the Eddie Stubbs intro.

Lee Banks catches the sound from the board in a terrific old-time mix. The harmonies are high and lonesome. The show starts out cookin' with "The Orange Blossom Special"- some great vocals, plus Stuart Duncan does the fiddle part more than justice. Really sounds like a night at the Grand Ole Opry back in the day. No one is plugged in, they are standing around the old WSM mikes.

" Shuckin' The Corn" features Charlie Cushman on banjo, Stuart even hollers out what key the song is in for everyone. Duncan is awesome on the fiddle, but this track belongs to Cushman as he tears up on the banjo. 

"The Whiskey Ain't Workin' Anymore", slower, high lonesome drinkin' song with some great pickin' and great harmonies. The crowd is really into the music. (By the way, The Ryman was sold out that night)

Tom Piazzo in the liner notes calls this record precise, yet full of funk and wildness. These guys are the best technicians you will find, yet they let loose here in an informal setting and play as one.

"No Hard time Blues" -This is a great mid-tempo bluegrass kicker, you have heard of Newgrass, this is more like Bluegrass with an attitude. Stuart improvises on the lyrics a bit. "I got hard times waiting for me in Nashville town, they say we don't want no hillbillies hanging around".

"Homesick"- This is just plain old-time country, great vocal performance. Duncan's fiddle is sweet. Kenny Vaughan plays a great guitar lead. Stuart is inspired on the mandolin. 

In finishing, "Uncle Josh Groves" is the best dobro picker that I have ever heard, bar none. Let me give some kudos to Brian Glenn, who is a great bass player and really does a great job thru out the disc. Every track will keep you enthralled, if you are a true country/bluegrass fan.

This music is true to what country music is supposed to be about.

Related Links:
www.MartyStuart.net - Official Site

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