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Stan Martin

Wicked Heart – 2001 (Self-released)

Reviewed by Stuart Munro

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CDs by Stan Martin

Stan Martin has been a long-time presence on the Boston-area country scene as a member of mainstay-act John Lincoln Wright and the Sourmash Boys and of the now-defunct Merles. He steps out on his own with this EP and offers up a collection of rock-solid country music. The tunes, all written by Martin, hit a number of styles: "(I'm Still) Crazy Over You" and "All I Want Is to Satisfy You" both shuffle (the former a hard variant, the latter more relaxed); the slow weeper is represented by "Sad Man" and the closing number, "Come On Back," is a slide-driven country rocker.

Martin's strong songwriting and crisp picking are supported by the craftwork of a handful of his fellow local vets; his secret weapon here, however, is the unobtrusively perfect harmonizing of Amber Casares, which serves to enhance Martin's own capable if undistinguished vocals. (Box 1139, Pepperell, MA 01463, E-Mail: twangtone1@hotmail.com )