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Review: Marty Stuart, band dazzle on latest album

Associated Press Published: April 24, 2012

Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives, "Nashville Vol. 1: Tear the Woodpile Down" (Sugar Hill)

Performing traditional country with roots in the 1960s and 1970s, Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives make for a Fab Four.

On "Nashville Vol. 1: Tear the Woodpile Down," Stuart sings about topics typical to the genre — loneliness, shattered dreams, heartache, trucking and fratricide. But the musical execution is the kind that makes jaws drop, whether the tune's a slow waltz or frenetic instrumental.

The title cut that opens the set is a showcase of lickety-split picking, and "Hollywood Boogie" likewise features the sort of guitar playing that take years to learn, condensed into a 90-second sprint. Also exhilarating is the unplugged "Truck Driver's Blues," driven by Stuart's mandolin, while ringing pedal steel guitar and airtight harmony vocals make "Going, Going, Gone" memorable.

The 10-tune set is over in only 32 minutes, but many listeners will likely hit the repeat button.

CHECK THIS TRACK OUT: The band dials down the flashy playing on "The Lonely Kind," which instead benefits from a lovely melody and a sparse arrangement, where even the tap of a tambourine hits hard.