This One's Gonna Hurt You

With his 1982 debut, Busy Bee Cafe, Marty Stuart set up tremendous expectations as both a guitarist/mandolin player and a songwriter. Past stints with Lester Flatt and Johnny Cash had made him a conduit between old-time hillbilly and bluegrass and progressive country music. But Stuart never again got the right stylistic mix. Until now. On This One’s Gonna Hurt You, the record he was born to make, Stuart achieves a nearly flawless integration of Southern rock, pop, bluegrass, blues, honky-tonk, rockabilly, and boogie. His energy, wit, and soulful mandolin fills make up for any deficiencies in his soft-edged voice. The almost uniformly superlative material includes two star duets, ”This One’s Gonna Hurt You (For a Long, Long Time),” a barstool weeper with Stuart’s No Hats tour partner, Travis Tritt, and the chain-gang autobiography ”Doin’ My Time” with Johnny Cash, who comes in growling like a junkyard dog. But Stuart is never finer than on the bloodcurdling bluegrass of ”High on a Mountain Top,” where Pam Tillis’ high harmony slices to the bone, and on ”Me & Hank & Jumpin’ Jack Flash,” a dream trip to hillbilly heaven that samples the speaking voices of Hank Williams, Lester Flatt, and Ernest Tubb to spooky resolve. Even when Stuart engages in self-mythology and melodramatic storytelling, he keeps it on the cutting edge. This record rocks like a roadhouse and moves like a mother on wheels. A

This One's Gonna Hurt You
  • Music