Black Music Matters Festival

Stan Martin

Love Ain't That Tough – 2009 (Gibraltar)

Reviewed by Robert Wooldridge

CDs by Stan Martin

Boston area country rocker Stan Martin displays a variety of styles on his third release. He kicks it off with Blue, Blue Tears, complete with a lyrical allusion to a Roy Orbison classic ("In dreams my thoughts they always think of you/Then daylight comes and tries to chase the blues").

The strongest apparent influence is Dwight Yoakam, most evident on the title track as well as Missing You Blues and Set Me Free, featuring former Yoakam fiddler Scott Joss.

Martin composed all 11 tracks and co-produced with drummer Ducky Carlisle and rhythm guitarist Mike Dinallo. Martin's lead guitar work is stellar throughout, particularly with his James Burton-esque picking on A Working Man Ain't Working Out For Me and No Money, an all out Chuck Berry style rocker.

Martin's strong vocals, solid tunes and hot guitar licks highlight this enjoyable collection.