Ghost Train - The Studio B Sessions
Marty Stuart performs country music the way it was once intended back in the 1950s through the ‘70s. He always has. Pedal-steel guitars either pick up the pace or send ballads into sweeping poignancy. The band settles behind him with unobtrusive professionalism. This album, inspired by Stuart’s moments in an empty train station in Philadelphia, MS at the onset of Hurricane Katrina and recorded in RCA’s legendary Nashville Studio B, is an impressive collection that proves if nothing else that Stuart is one of the finest country ballad singers alive. “Hard Working Man,” “Drifting Apart” and “Hangman” (co-written with Johnny Cash) are tunes that immediately bring legends like Merle Haggard and George Jones to mind. He lacks their gravitas but he still renders a man’s struggle along the way. Wife Connie Smith co-writes several tracks and is featured on a few with perfect harmonies underlining Stuart’s heart-torn delivery. “Little Heartbreaker,” “Branded” and “Bridge Washed Out” shuffle with an extra cowboy kick in their step. It’s timeless classic country that’s as great as anything in the Stuart catalog. High praise, indeed.