Best Country-Western Artist, August 2004
The cosmic country music of Gram Parsons is alive and kicking in L.A. Its primary practitioner is reedy-voiced hipster Mike Stinson
, whose hard-rocking honky-tonk is raising roofs and breaking hearts all over town, from the Scene in Glendale to the Cinema Bar in Culver City. His sound evokes Buck Owens’s Bakersfield and Parsons’s Joshua Tree. “Late Great Golden State,” from his 2002 debut, Jack of All Heartache
, was covered by Dwight Yoakam and should be California’s official anthem. “Tomorrow’s Gonna Hurt,” from Stinson’s new album, tentatively titled The Last Fool at the Bar
, shows there are more instant classics where that came from. Backed by the sublimely cool former X guitarist Tony Gilkyson, drummer Jason Moore, and bassist Jimmy Ashhurst, Stinson may not offer blood, but his rollicking sets have plenty of sweat and beers.