Stan Martin 'Distilled Influences' - Twangtone

Looking at the influences represented by the album covers featured in the cover artwork, there seems one missing to me: Dwight Yoakam. For as well as featuring former Yoakam sideman Scott Joss on several tracks. Stan Martin has also included some other of Yoakam's influences.  Martin's eleven original song all stand up as solid honky-tonkers and dancefloor heartbreakers,  with touches of additional elements from the more broad-minded 60s and 70s artists. Working with a tight bass, drum and guitar set-up that adds Joss' fiddle to the core band on six cuts, gives the songs an economic and focused sound with Martin's Telecaster well to the fore over Ducky Carlisle’s solid drums and Marc Hickox's propulsive bass. The former also co-produced the album as he did with the previous Cigarettes and Cheap Whiskey album so this is exactly how the band want to sound and it's pretty good.

Martin is not as distinctive vocalist as Yoakam (but then who is?) but does a fine and believable job of delivering these songs. Some sound like they come from a time when Buck Owens was played on radio next to The Beatles. There's also a touch of pub rock in the mix (Right Now) when musical influences were crossing back and forth across the Atlantic.

The overall influence is true old-school country filtered through a rock solid base which results in some enjoyable and entertaining music. It isn’t  a stretch to hear Dwight singing You Let Me Down. The distilled influences on Stan Martin and his band have resulted in an album that, while it may not push any envelopes, is neither overtly retro or bad country-pop. For that Martin deserves credit. Long may he continue to lead his team to produce a musical mix that seemed to vanish at the end of the 90s, a musical direction that, I for one, thoroughly enjoyed.