Stan Martin returns with Love Ain’t That Tough featuring his usual triple threat attack as a soulful singer, blazing guitar player, and extraordinary songwriter. With twelve new original songs penned by Martin, Love Ain’t That Tough is a record that brings to mind Chris Isaak meeting Dwight Yoakam circa 1965 with a generous dose of Roy Orbison thrown in for good measure. The disc brings back the energy and attitude that made Los Angeles the hot bed of roots music when the scene there saw Los Lobos, X, Dwight Yoakam, and The Blasters incestuously re-writing the book.
But it is the songwriting that ultimately separates Love Ain’t That Tough from the rest of the country, alt-country, and retro-country scene. Tracks like the elegant country-soul-pop of “Blue, Blue Tears” and the deep and isconsolate country ballad “Whiskey Morning Sunrise” follow in the long tradition from Hank Williams to Waylon Jennings. Nashville DJ Billy Block (WKFD 103FM) had this to say after hearing the record; “Stan Martin continues to lead the pack as
one of the premier purveyors of highly original honky-tonk country music. His latest recording exhibits his flair for catchy melodies, memorable guitar hooks and radio friendly vocal delivery.”
In the words of longtime Boston Globe correspondent Steve Morse, "Stan Martin is an unsung hero whose grasp of honky-tonk would pique the ears of Dwight Yoakam, Merle Haggard and anyone else who loves this rollicking music. ..
Love Ain’t That Tough follows on the heels of the notoriety of Martin’s previous record Cigarettes and Cheap Whiskey, which received copius accolades and four-star reviews along with earning Stan XM Radio’s “Cross-Country Countdown”
#1 for 3 weeks and, in the Top 10 for 18 weeks. “In the alt-country world, Stan Martin was surely the surprise success story. His Cigarettes and Cheap Whiskey won raves from critics nationwide and made a mad dash up the Americana
music charts. Martin mixes rock with country like Dwight Yoakam and the Derailers,” said Jim Caligiuri in the Austin press. “Bakersfield apparently
sneaked off to Pepperell, Mass., when nobody was looking! East Coaster Martin is, beyond question, the best exponent of West Coast country since Jim Lauderdale. A one-man Twangfest with a bookful of rockin' delights and killer
self-penned shuffles, Stan might well be The Man of this year's SXSW. Make sure you see him now while you can still find a spot on the dancefloor,” said Tony Rounce about Stan’s performance at SXSW in Austin.