Personnel includes: Gary Stewart, Dean Dillon.
All tracks have been digitally remastered.
This is part of RCA Records' The Essential Series.
Personnel: Gary Stewart (vocals, guitar, piano); Dottie DeLeonibus, The Jordanaires, Bobby Harden, Lea Jane Berinati (vocals).
Liner Note Author: Wade Jessen.
Recording information: 02/1975-04/1982.
Over the course of these 20 tracks, listeners get to encounter the rare and focused genius that was Gary Stewart. Covering his career from the late '60s through the 1970s while he was with RCA, these songs testify to a fine singer and interpreter, a great pianist and guitarist, and a singular songwriter. Among the many gems here -- there's nary an unnecessary cut in the bunch -- are his anthems "Drinkin' Thing" and "Out of Hand" as well as many of his stellar but underappreciated singles, including "She Actin' Single (I'm Drinkin' Doubles)," his fine interpretations of Danny O'Keefe's "Quits" and Michael Murphey's "Backsliders' Wine," and his rather raucous original "Flat Natural Born Good-Timin' Man." Stewart was really a cross-genre artist who rocked as hard as he twanged and had more in common with Jerry Lee Lewis than he did with George Jones, and Essential testifies to this in spades. ~ Thom Jurek