Black Music Matters Festival

Stan Martin

Cigarettes and Cheap Whiskey – 2002 (Twangtone)

Reviewed by Brian Steinberg

CDs by Stan Martin

Traditionalists should embrace Stan Martin's new disc with little question. This is foursquare country with a little swing and some boom-chicka-boom rockabilly lumped in for good measure (if you're looking for a reference point, think early Dwight Yoakam, like "Guitars, Cadillacs, etc. etc." In fact, a song like "Forever Ended With You" sounds like someone has been listening to Dwight's "South of Cincinnati" quite a bit).

A stellar backing band - including the near-ubiquitous Scott Joss on fiddle - and crisp production make this South Boston native's solo disc stand out. It's little surprise that Martin can put some tap in your toe; he has played along with artists ranging from Carlene Carter and Marty Stuart to Wayne Hancock and Travis Tritt.

Efforts to rock a little harder - check out the voice-box effects on "Baby I'm Gone" - may not work for everyone, but when Martin sticks to the basics he does pretty well for himself. (Stan Martin)