Stan Martin – Love Ain’t That Tough

January 01, 1970




Any city worth its musical salt has artistic inhabitants
like Stan Martin, who with each successive release–this is his third–has
increasingly qualified as one of those best kept local secrets (the locale in
this case being Boston). Martin plays modern honky-tonk music with an
edge–Dwight Yoakam is an obvious reference point, with a bit of the moody
intensity of a Chris Isaak mixed in to delicious effect. He wrote all of the 11
tracks on Love Ain’t That Tough, and
he shows himself adept at whatever style he tackles: swinging the blues on
“Missing You Blues,” pumped up Haggard-esque sound, sensibilities, and slick-picking
on “A Workin’ Man Ain’t Working Out For Me,” electric hillbilly on the title
track, hard country balladry led by Scott Joss’s weeping fiddle on “Set Me
Free,” unabashed Chuck Berry rock and roll on “No Money,” and to close, “How to
Let Go,” a maternal tribute to that features just Martin’s late mother on
accordion paired with his acoustic.


Martin’s singing has gone from capably unremarkable on his
first release to strong and distinctive here, his guitar playing–whether
twangy lead, baritone, or 12-string–is fluid, deft, and unerringly tasty, and
his efforts are complemented by a crack supporting cast. Will this record bring
Martin the wider recognition he deserves? Who knows, but it ought to.


Standout Tracks: “Love Ain’t That Tough,” “Blue, Blue Tears” STUART MUNRO



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