Marty Stuart

Love and Luck

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AllMusic Review by Daniel Gioffre

On Love and Luck, Marty Stuart's fourth album for MCA, he balances some of the requisite country pop/rock cuts with more traditional honky tonk numbers. Stuart himself either wrote or co-wrote seven of the 11 tracks, and with the exception of "That's What Love's About," where the schmaltz factor unfortunately cancels out some of the interesting harmonic moments of the composition, they are uniformly strong. The rock-influenced title track and the haunting "Oh, What a Silent Night" are some of his strongest efforts, but they pale in comparison to the centerpiece of the record, a moving version of the excellent Billy Joe Shaver song "If I Give My Soul." Also particularly nice is Stuart's version of the Byrds' "Wheels," which perfectly captures the song's bittersweet feel. Stuart is one of that rarest of all commodities: a superstar country vocalist who also has enough instrumental chops to make the services of even Nashville's cadre of virtuosos unnecessary. He demonstrates this on the instrumental "Marty Stuart Visits the Moon," where the singer gets to flash his mandolin chops on a catchy, up-tempo track. This is not to say that the studio band isn't top-notch, because they are, and they include such notables as Randy Scruggs, John Jorgenson, John Barlow Jarvis, Paul Franklin, and Bela Fleck. There are some clunkers on Love and Luck, like the repetitive and boring "Shake Your Hips," but overall this is a fine effort from Stuart, and shows his range nicely.

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