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Thread: Gary Stewart

  1. #1
    Big Sister IS watchIng me Sleep HERO's Avatar
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    Jul 2010
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    Default Gary Stewart

    Rational Merry (Fe-valuing) type: LSI-Se? or EIE? (Beta Rational), ESE??; or Fe-creative (IEI-Fe or SEI-Fe?). I wouldn’t rule out something like SLE?, maybe.

    “ . . . . I'm not weak, I tell myself / I'm stayin' because I'm strong / The truth is I'm not man enough/To stop her from doing me wrong / She's actin' single / I'm drinkin' doubles / I hide my pain / I drown my troubles / My heart is breaking/Like the tiny bubbles . . . . She's actin' single / I'm drinkin' doubles / I hide my pain . . . .”

    “What do we call it now? / It isn't marriage anymore / Call it new and different / It's not the way it was before / Out of all the words to choose from, there's only one that fits / Call it what you want to / I just call it quits . . . . Turn and walk away/Across the desert of our hearts / Love's turned to sand and we've run out of time / You know we once had something/No words could tear apart / Now you be yours / And I'll be mine . . . . Call our friends and tell them / Tell them that we just don't care / Tell them dreams of flowers and that our garden's bare / Call it separation, independence / Divorce, if that word fits / Call it what you want to / I just call it quits . . . .”

    - Robert Christgau:

    Greatest Hits [RCA Victor, 1981]
    Half of these ten tracks are on Out of Hand or Your Place or Mine, both worth owning, only let's face it--you don't. Sounded pretty good for country music, but since he wasn't Hank Williams, you passed. This was dumb. I'm not gonna claim he's Hank, though he's a damn sight closer than Waylon or Hank Jr., because Hank preceded Jerry Lee Lewis, not to mention Eddie Rabbitt, while Gary lives in a world that includes both--no matter what they think at RCA, he's no stranger to concepts like "rock" and "commercial." Which is not to suggest that boogie or schlock dilutes these vibrato-laden outcries of desperate abandon--they're the pure hard country of a honky-tonk piano man. No matter how justly Jerry Lee suffers, he always seems affronted that this should be happening to him. Though he hasn't thought about going to church two successive Sundays since he was twelve, Gary knows that what the Bible says is true--that sin and hell are the same place. And he lives there. A

    Gary's Greatest [HighTone, 1991]
    Because the label has already reissued 1975's Out of Hand, this leans harder on his gradual decline than would seem advisable, and ends up dispelling doubts as a result--he didn't write the 1981 45-only "She's Got a Drinking Problem" ("and it's me"), but it belongs to him anyway. Stewart is obsessed with the fucked-up intersections of booze, sex, and the honest life. He's so far outside Nashville's not inelastic limits that he ended up on a blues indie. And strong song for strong song, he's the equal of any postoutlaw you care to name except maybe John Anderson. So what are you waiting for? A

    Best of the HighTone Years [HighTone, 2002]
    Few artists in any genre have seemed more tortured, dissolute, or full of beans than our era's greatest honky tonker. Already in his thirties when he put out a passel of striking if loosely principled LPs for RCA between 1975 and 1981, he dried out before re-emerging with the '88-'90-'93 albums HighTone's purists expertly reshuffle. Although the self-written songs here are less succinct than "Drinkin' Thing" ("to keep from thinkin' things") or "She's Actin' Single (I'm Drinkin' Doubles)," they do justice to his desperate abandon; delivered in a growlier version of his star-time vibrato, "They ought to make a brand new whiskey/And give it a woman's name/A man needs somethin' to hold on/When her goodbye hits him like a hurricane" captures every aspect of his worldview except the part where he cheats first. Settled in south Florida, Stewart released no more albums until 2003's Live at Billy Bob's Texas, which is currently hard to come by. Last spring his wife died, and last month he shot himself in the neck, so he could die too. At 59, the man who sang "There's nothing cheap about a cheap affair" had been married 43 years. Not only shouldn't he be forgotten, he should be understood. A-

    Out of Hand [RCA Victor, 1975]
    This is the best regular issue country LP I've heard in about five years--which given my tastes may just mean that it's barely a country record at all. The wild urgency of Stewart's voice reminds me of both Hank Williams and Jerry Lee Lewis, communicating an unconstraint that feels genuinely liberating even when Stewart himself sounds miserable. Don't be misled by that mod look: this man has got to be a little crazy. A-
    Last edited by HERO; 05-29-2014 at 06:03 AM.

    Kristen Pfaff and Kurt Donald Cobain didn't like the scene anyhow

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