Marty Stuart has been long considered as one of the key links between the traditional country world and the Americana side of town, having played in Johnny Cash’s band and previously with Lester Flatt and Doc Watson. Way Out West finds him corralling all of those influences and more into a dream-like paean to the Americana Wild West – both mythical and real.
There’s a strong desert quality to the songs in the hazy, drifting qualities devoid of metropolitan rush and stress. There are tales of pills, open roads and geographical romanticism draped in pedal steel, shuffling rhythms and Mexicali flavours akin to Calexico.
The balance of mood, tempo and lyrical and musical imagery is perfectly executed on the most all-encompassing country record you’ll hear this year.