Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives

October 20, 2005

Marty Stuart’s new album—the first on his own label—is an audacious blend of gospel songs, earthy grooves, and gorgeous vocal harmony the four-time Grammy winner calls “church-house rock and roll.” Featuring twin twangy guitars—played by Stuart and the vibey Kenny Vaughan—panned wide in the mix over a rhythm section of bare-bones bass, clickity-clack drums, and subliminal organ, Souls’ Chapel has a rollicking, funky feel. That’s not surprising: The songs were recorded live at Stuart’s house—no baffles, endless overdubs, or neurotic Pro Tools tweaking. Soaked in amp tremolo and spring reverb, the intertwining guitars form the pillars of each song. The instrumental “Souls’ Chapel”—with its throbbing, palm-muted arpeggios, Memphis sliding sixths, burly low-string riffs, double-stop bends, and Curtis Mayfield-inspired hammers—is a standout. Despite the album’s religious lyrics, you needn’t be a believer to grasp the 6-string magic oozing from every cut. Superlatone. —Andy Ellis

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