Stuart has been playing country music professionally since his early teens. From the mid-1980s to the early '90s, he had a lot of mainstream country-music success. But in recent years, Stuart has migrated toward an old-fashioned sound. Rock critic Ken Tucker reviews his latest album, Ghost Train: The Studio B Sessions.
Rock critic Ken Tucker reviews "Webb Pierce: King of the Honky Tonk." Pierce's rough edge laid the groundwork for contemporary country music -- though Tucker says newer artists could use some of Pierce's passion.
Texas-born musician and Nashville songwriter Billy Joe Shaver. At 54, he plays with his son in a band called "Shaver" -- their new album is "Tramp on Your Street" (Zoo/Praxis), his first recording in ten years. Shaver's songs, as recorded by Waylon Jennings on the 1973 "Honky Tonk Heroes" album, began the "outlaw" movement in country music. Since then, his songs have been recorded by Elvis Presley, Willie Nelson, and Johnny Cash.
Last year, Ken Tucker reviewed albums by Randy Travis and Dwight Yoakum, whom he thought had the power to shake up the country music establishment. Now they are the establishment, both with new albums. Tucker says Travis gives listeners a postmodern take on traditional country; Yoakum has fashioned himself the genre's Raymond Chandler, with songs that are brooding and sometimes offensive.