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• Two great albums from arguably the greatest honky tonk singer. With his distinctive vibrato voice no-one sang drinking and cheating songs better than Gary Stewart.

• The first album “Gary” from 1979 kicks off with a pounding rocker ‘Mazelle’, the first charted single from the album (the other being the leisurely, bluesy ‘Shady Streets’). This faultless ten-song set includes a distinctive rendition of Leon Payne’s ‘Lost Highway’ evoking memories of Hank Williams, and concludes with the truly memorable ‘One More’ where steel guitar and piano provide a perfect backdrop to the singer’s unique vocals.

• “Cactus And A Rose” (1980) moved away from familiar Nashville studio surroundings and into the Southern country-rock arena that first inspired him. Gregg Allman and Dickey Betts were among the musicians and, with Chips Moman as producer, these ten tracks added up to a programme unique to Stewart. It also provided another two chart singles – the title track and the double-sided ‘Are We Dreamin’ The Same Dream’ and ‘Roarin’’, the latter living up to its title as Bonnie Bramlett joins in the raucous barrelhouse fun.

• Every track is a winner, right from the opening ‘Okeechobee Purple’ through to the poignant ‘We Just Couldn’t Make It As Friends’ finale. Incidentally, this was the only Stewart album to enter the pop charts.

• Tragically on 16th December 2003, Gary Stewart committed suicide despondent following the death of Mary Lou, his wife of 43 years a few weeks previously.

• Although his days of acclaim and ground-breaking recordings only lasted for a relatively short period during the 1970s/80s he made a unique impression within country music that continues to be remembered.

GARY
1. MAZELLE
2. SHADY STREETS
3. THE NEXT THING YOU KNOW
4. EVERYTHING A GOOD LITTLE GIRL NEEDS
5. THE SAME THING
6. THE BLUES DON’T CARE WHO’S GOT ‘EM
7. I’VE JUST SEEN THE ROCK OF AGES
8. WALKAWAY
9. LOST HIGHWAY
10. ONE MORE

CACTUS AND A ROSE
11. OKEECHOBEE PURPLE
12. CACTUS AND A ROSE
13. STARING EACH OTHER DOWN
14. LOVER’S KNOT
15. GHOST TRAIN
16. ROARIN’
17. HARLAN COUNTY HIGHWAY
18. ARE WE DREAMIN’ THE SAME DREAM
19. HOW COULD WE COME TO THIS AFTER THAT
20. (WE MADE IT AS LOVERS) WE JUST COULDN’T MAKE IT AS FRIENDS
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