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Stuff That Works


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Audio CD, April 1, 2003
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The title cut, written by legendary Texas singer/songwriters Guy Clark and Rodney Crowell sets the theme for this recording. Like much of Clark's best writing, "Stuff that Works" is a deceptively simple song that celebrates the ordinary, comfortable things in life, such as a soft blue shirt, well worn boots, a reliable used car, and old friends, things we accept and treasure without second thoughts because "they work." Gary's warm, distinctive voice delivers the gentle message nicely. The CD title is also appropriate because the included songs are those that have worked well for Junior Barber and Gary Ferguson.

With this release, Gary and Junior take a major risk because they have deliberately made a minimalist project. That is, there are no hot, fancy studio musicians on this recording. The only instruments are Gary's voice, a guitar, and Junior's slide, Hawaiian, or resophonic guitars. The result reflects the personalities of the artists in that the music is laid back and intimate, with just enough uptempo tunes to round it out perfectly.

Half of the songs on the recording were written by Gary and/or Junior, and the remaining songs are a combination of the familiar and different. For example, the classic Kitty Wells song, "I'll be All Smiles Tonight" is present as a short instrumental featuring Junior. When George Jones recorded "Choices," the song had a particularly strong emotional kick because Jones' problems with alcohol have been so extensively reported that the listener automatically identified the song as being autobiographical. It takes a lot of guts to cover a song such as "Choices" because any new version will invariably be compared to the original, but Gary demonstrates that the song is powerful and stands tall on its own and makes it his own.

About the Artist

Junior Barber and Gary Ferguson

Junior Barber is one of the most respected and well known resophonic guitar players in the country, having been nominated 7 times by IBMA for "Dobro Player Of the Year".

Living in Plattsburgh, New York, Junior has worked the Bluegrass and acoustic music scene for many years as a freelance artist and has worked with numerous bands. The most recent group was the Gibson Brothers. In 1998 they received the IBMA award for "Emerging Artist of the Year".

Junior has recorded on many projects as well as 2 of his own. "Stone Bottom Boogie" and "Steffi's Waltz". Both of these projects were nominated for IBMA "Instrumental Project of the Year".

Gary Ferguson plays guitar and sings lead, was born in Maryland and now lives near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. Best known as a singer/songwriter, Cliff Waldron, Larry Sparks and Paul Adkins have recorded his songs and 25 appear on Gary's own recordings.

He has had two #2 songs on Bluegrass Unlimited's Top 30 and his "I'm Really Leaving" album went to #4. Gary's last album, "Timberline" was in Bluegrass Unlimited's Top 30 for the year 2000. Three of his songs were in Bluegrass Unlimited's Top 200 Songs of the 1990's.

He is a 5 time finalist in the Chris Austin Songwritng Contest at MerleFest. Nominated for Song of the Year and Songwriter of the Year at SPBGMA in 1998 for his song "Last Day at Gettysburg" and in 2001 "Last Day at Gettysburg", Songs of the American Civil War, a compilation CD that includes 2 of his songs was released by Rebel Records.

Gary's latest CD, "Our Old Home" with Sally Love is currently on the charts and has been featured on the popular radio program "Car Talk".

Gary Ferguson/6211 Baltimore Pike/Littlestown, PA 17340 (717) 359-4774 garyferguson@onemain.com


1. Stuff That Works
2. Kentucky Boy
3. Dear Sarah
4. Chicken Feet
5. Here I Go Again
6. Choices
7. I've Been All Around This World
8. Give Me the Flowers While I'm Livng
9. Wheels Rollin' Round
10. I'll Be All Smiles Tonight
11. That's Alright, That's OK
12. Last Day at Gettysburg

Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 1, 2003)
  • Original Release Date: April 1, 2003
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • ASIN: B000092VSM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,279,707 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Ross on August 30, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Playing Time - 37:53 -- At first, I must admit that I was a bit apprehensive about whether 38 minutes of guitar, resophonic (or lap or slide) guitar, and solo singing would sufficiently grab my attention. However, in recent years, I've noticed a slight trend towards more minimalist acoustic recordings. Many listeners appreciate a leaner, cleaner approach, and Ferguson and Barber can put out a lot of sound between them. Ferguson sings and lays down some solid rhythm guitar, while Barber provides some tasty accompaniment and breaks. So, the key here for maximum enjoyment is to focus on the songs' messages, the wailing instrumental fills, and the musical interaction of these two expert pickers. Junior and Gary met in Montana a few years back and decided to do an occasional show together. Then they decided to do a duet, book some concerts and record this CD as a "fun little project" to present the music exactly as it would be heard on stage.
Junior Barber, from Plattsburgh, New York, may be best known as the resonator guitarist for the Gibson Brothers. He's also recorded two solo albums, and in 2002, he played dates with Gary Ferguson and Sally Love. Barber garnered nominations for IBMA Dobro Player of the Year. Gary Ferguson hails from Maryland and currently makes his home in Littlestown, PA. In the early and mid-90s, he fronted The Gary Ferguson Band. Ferguson is the only songwriter to be a five-time finalist at Merlefest's Chris Austin Songwriting Contest.
That's why I make special note of Ferguson's five originals on this project which is a good showcase for his exceptional songwriting talent. "Kentucky Boy" tells of a lonely country musician who can't forget his home in Harlan despite the bright lights he's found on stage in the big city.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J. Ross on August 19, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Playing Time - 37:53 -- Songs: 1)Stuff That Works, 2)Kentucky Boy, 3)Dear Sarah, 4)Chicken Feet, 5)Here I Go Again, 6)Choices, 7)I've Been All Around This World, 8)Give Me The Flowers While I'm Living, 9)Wheels Rollin' Round, 10)I'll Be All Smiles Tonight, 11)That's Alright, That's OK, 12) Last Day at Gettysburg
At first, I must admit that I was a bit apprehensive about whether 38 minutes of guitar, resophonic (or lap or slide) guitar, and solo singing would sufficiently grab my attention. However, in recent years, I've noticed a slight trend towards more minimalist acoustic recordings. Many listeners appreciate a leaner, cleaner approach, and Ferguson and Barber can put out a lot of sound between them. Ferguson sings and lays down some solid rhythm guitar, while Barber provides some tasty accompaniment and breaks. So, the key here for maximum enjoyment is to focus on the songs' messages, the wailing instrumental fills, and the musical interaction of these two expert pickers. Junior and Gary met in Montana a few years back and decided to do an occasional show together. Then they decided to do a duet, book some concerts and record this CD as a "fun little project" to present the music exactly as it would be heard on stage.
Junior Barber, from Plattsburgh, New York, may be best known as the resonator guitarist for the Gibson Brothers. He's also recorded two solo albums, and in 2002, he played dates with Gary Ferguson and Sally Love. Barber garnered nominations for IBMA Dobro Player of the Year. Gary Ferguson hails from Maryland and currently makes his home in Littlestown, PA. In the early and mid-90s, he fronted The Gary Ferguson Band. Ferguson is the only songwriter to be a five-time finalist at Merlefest's Chris Austin Songwriting Contest.
Read more ›
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