Steve Horowitz: The myth of the American West as the wild place where one proves oneself will never die as long as artists as great as Marty Stuart use it as the settings for their personal journeys. Stuart’s a damn good story teller with a crack band that makes one feel baked by the sun and driven wind by the way in which they bend their notes and twist their tempos. Stuart tells us about the danger of pills being worse than the actual dangers one faces in life by singing low and sincere. He may be proffering tall tales more than preaching, but the moral of his stories are clear. Going out west is just a metaphor for finding yourself. It may be easy to get lost because ironically one is already there. [7/10]
Chris Ingalls: Stuart’s been cranking out his unique brand of country and rockabilly for decades, and on “Way Out West” he veers towards some interesting combination of Ry Cooder, John Hiatt, and Tom Waits. The music has a ruminating country/folk vibe, and the lyrics push a heavy psychedelic feel. It’s interesting to see a relatively mainstream (yet formidably talented) artist of Stuart’s stature push the envelope in such an interesting way. [8/10]
Adriane Pontecorvo: Acid-washed country music tells the story of a drug-fueled ride through the west, and it makes for a singularly sublime trip. Stuart’s Sonoran trek is a small-scale psychedelic odyssey, accompanied by guitars that sound like wavy desert mirages. He’s a storyteller with his own style, one who’s enjoyable to listen to and has quite a bit of know-how when it comes to keeping audiences interested. That combined with a very mellow melody makes this worth your rapt attention. [8/10]
Mike Schiller: Lush Americana with a storytelling style in the tradition of Johnny Cash, who gets namechecked late in the song. It’s effective and rings true, even if it feels like Stuart could do this in his sleep and the moral of his story comes out of nowhere. [7/10]
Scott Zuppardo: The legend rides again albeit taking it a bit weirder than normal. Another ode to recreational drugs and I’m guessing peyote was the green pill ingested with the Indian Chief. Stuart is as cool as they come, the man was married to Cash and played in Ol’ Johnny’s band for years. A true country legend taking things a bit more cosmic in 2017 is great fun. [7/10]
Marty Stuart’s new album Way Out West releases 10 March 2017.
We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong online. Please consider a donation to support our work as an independent publisher devoted to the arts and humanities. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times where advertising no longer covers our costs. We need your help to keep PopMatters publishing. Thank you.