Gary Stewart

Your Place or Mine

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Following two years after Out of Hand -- one of the three greatest honky tonk records ever made -- Gary Stewart had a tall order to fill. And while it's true that Your Place or Mine is not the same achievement that Out of Hand was, it nonetheless is a must-own for serious country fans. Put together three tried-and-tough Rodney Crowell tunes -- "I Had to Get Drunk Last Night," "Rachel," and "Ain't Livin' Long Like This" -- Stewart's own "Dancing Eyes," and Guy Clark's "Broken Hearted People," along with Willie Nelson's "Pretend I Never Happened," and you already have a strong recipe, especially with a crackerjack country-rock band like Stewart's. In direct opposition to Nashville's "wisdom," Stewart created an album where each track moved into another that was stronger. So, as good as the title track is, by the time you reach Stewart's "Dancing Eyes" at the end, you've gone up the escalator of quality to honky tonk heaven. The first three tracks on side two are enough to slay even the most unwaveringly cold, sand-for-blood-in-their-veins country fan and get 'em outta the chair or off the stool to the dancefloor, and then back to weep in their beer. In addition to his own band, Stewart has some help from Emmylou Harris, Crowell, the late Nicolette Larson, Sue Richards, Jerry Wallace, and the Jordanaires on backing vocals. Yeah, not bad, eh? This album is a bad mother and you need it.

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