Here are 20 gems from Gary's late-'60s-to-early-'80s RCA prime, when he stepped forward as one of the greatest honky-tonk singers and songwriters of his (or any) generation. This is packed with hits: She's Actin' Single (I'm Drinkin' Doubles); Out of Hand; Drinkin' Thing; Your Place or Mine; Whiskey Trip; Quits; Mazelle; Brotherly Love , and more!
In an age when barroom-'n'-cheatin' songs hit country radio program directors' wastebaskets quicker than you can say "Foolin' Around
," it's good to remember Gary Stewart. The Kentucky native kicked around for years before breaking big in 1975 with the likes of "Drinkin' Thing," "Out of Hand," and "She's Actin' Single (I'm Drinkin' Doubles)." If anything, those hard-driving plaints were soon eclipsed by the rocking "Your Place or Mine (I Really Don't Care)" and "Ten Years of This" (a bitter soliloquy delivered by a man to his wife on the occasion of their wedding anniversary)--two cuts on which Stewart gives Jerry Lee Lewis
himself a run for his money in terms of unhinged vocal artistry. Essential
captures all these and more on a generous CD that matches Gram Parsons
, if not Hank Williams
, for abandon and dark emotional intensity. --Rickey Wright