Rhythm & Brews, Chattanooga, TN on February 16, 2006

We got down to Rhythm and Brews about 7:15 p.m. Doors didn't open until 7:00. A really pretty bus was sitting out front, cream color with the lots of other colored stripes. We had to wait a few minutes while the guy with the list of ticket sales was explaining their rule of having to see an ID. to get in to a guy who had no ID apparently, and said he wasn't told he had to have one when he ordered tickets.....while waiting, I noticed the sign: "Smoke Free Show"...only getting better! But WOW, was this place small, I was shocked and my friend starting laughing at me; I was so amazed at the size of the place. There might have been 10 small tables between the stage and the balcony area that had seats under it, like a bar with high stools all the way across under the balcony.

The ten tables were already pretty much taken with a few chairs sitting around, but we went up on the balcony, right in front of the stage as well and got front and center. There was less than 20 feet between the front of this little stage and the balcony.

I went back to the booth to see what they had for sale. I found the "Live at the Ryman" CD which I hadn't had time to look for. I had taken my "Badlands" CD too. They have a nice ladies shirt I'd like to have, black with "Marty Stuart" in white across the front.

There was an older guy standing there talking to the young guy selling merchandise. He was telling him about the US 101 show, where Marty passed out in the field. I looked up because I remembered we had just walked away from getting autographs when it happened. It was right after his concussion he got making the "Hey Baby" video I believe, and they found out he actually did have a concussion. Then while he was at the Chattanooga hospital, someone stole his clothes. We heard it on the radio coming home from the show. He mentioned Mike Copelin and I was surprised (just listening) that the young guy didn't know who he was. When I bought my CD he said he liked my pin. I wore the one that is a picture of Marty with big hair. Early 90's pin. So I'm sure he didn't recognize it if he didn't know who Mike Copelin was. Could have just been a guy they had from the venue selling merchandise too. I didn't see anyone else I really recognized.

Jennifer Daniels from Lookout Mountain opened the show with only one guy joining her to accompany on guitar and mandolin. She was really good and when we left, I asked her if she had thought about coming to the Strawberry Festival in Dayton. She said she'd heard about it and might have to check in on it, as she'd never been there before. She played for about an hour or so.

Then it was time for the Fabulous Superlatives to come out. Each of the band came out one at a time to applause, getting the crowd ready for Marty to then walk out to the stage. They had the lava lamps set up and the drums and some sound. It was pretty scrunched up because the stage was so small. Kenny came out in his white cowboy hat and a "Porter" outfit, if I ever saw one. Marty had on black jeans with silver rings up the sides I think. Thought it was bells for a few minutes. He was all in black. Harry wore a beautiful peach color jacket, and Brian wore a great looking jacket with design. Marty had on a beautiful blue cross necklace with blue stones/beads. Harry also wore a beautiful large cross necklace in silver crystals.

I think I took less pictures this time than I've ever taken. But lots of people were shooting pictures. I just didn't take time to take that many this time. Maybe it was just the smaller venue.

I was so afraid this smaller and somewhat older crowd wouldn't have the pizazz of the bigger shows. Shoot, I've seen quieter bigger shows. It was such a great crowd. Marty really wowed them. It always amazes me how surprised a new person is when they see the show and how much energy he puts into it and how they are so surprised at how much they enjoy the show. And sitting on that small balcony, you feel the vibration of the music even more, so much at times it was kind of scary. Some one yelled out and asked about Connie, and Marty said "Thanks for asking" and that she was on a plane on her way to Norway and to pray for her to get a good seat on the plane. And he again thanked them for asking.

His song list looked this: (all the names may not be exact)

"That's Alright"
"Little Bit of Wine"
"Country Boy Rock and Roll"
"Whiskey Ain't Workin'"
"Heartbreak Kind"
For Johnny Cash: "Give My Love to Rose"
"Rock Island Line"
Kenny: "Country Music's Got A Hold On Me" (so funny his humble way of coming up to the mike.....then boom!)

He talked about his "new" neighbor and sang a few BeeGees lines (with a pretty good accent). Then he said something I hadn't heard before. About what you get when you put country and rap together. So funny!

He remembered Johnny Cash as his bandleader, father-in-law, neighbor and how he missed looking over and knowing he wasn't there now. How he cried when he found out Johnny had passed away. He talked about the vacant property next door he bought, originally Roy Orbison's and what all happened with his sons, why Roy would never build another house on it, and planted all kinds of trees on it. He told how Johnny had bought it and then how he worked it out with John Carter Cash to buy it, said as long as he had it, it would still never have another house built on it. He told about seeing the crows and how it inspired a song he wrote about Johnny when he died. And then sang "Dark Bird."

He talked about having his own record label (Superlatone) and how he was able to pretty much record whatever he wanted. He told about the "Badlands" CD and how he came to create it. Then he sang "Badlands," and the "Drunk Indian Song" as he called it.

Someone in the audience asked him to show them his Speed Bump and he said, "No, I think I've shown my speed bump enough". Then he introduced Brian to sing "Take The Lord With You" and Brian dedicated it to the speed bump lady, and Marty said yes, she needs this song (or something to that effect), and they all laughed, her too.

Harry sang "Slow Train," one of my favorites and the audience was all so quiet, surprising too, this late in the show. And what's fun is when all of a sudden he kicks right back into the fun with "Now That's Country" and "Hey Baby", "Don't Think Hank Done It That A Way". He told everyone to get up and they were all standing in front of the stage within a foot or two of him in the center. I don't know if that's the name of it but "Look At That Girl" was a song I hadn't heard. He points into the audience on that one. One guy is pointing to his girlfriend and they all nod and smile.

Then he thanked everyone and shook a few hands and went off stage, as well as the band after finishing the rest of the trail of the song. Well, it might have been small, but they made enough noise to bring Marty first, back on stage to stand right in front of everyone and play his mandolin instrumental. The band then came back out and they all sang together on "Workin' On A Building". And don't you love the bluegrass version of "Hillbilly Rock" (it's on the "Live At The Ryman" CD too, final song of course). When he goes off he invites everyone to come see him at the booth on the half balcony.

We got in line and my friend (who had never seen Marty before and came along with me to see them) thoroughly enjoyed it, and getting to meet them was even better! When Marty autographed my CD's I told him I was breaking him in right. Marty said "hi," and I told him I just loved the venue. He said"It's great isn't it?" I said "It made this one of the best birthday's I've had." He said "It's your birthday?" I just nodded and grinned. He said "well, Happy Birthday," and I said "thanks so much." Of course we were moving right along, so I said "see you again soon." He smiled and took the next CD from the next person.

I said hi to Brian and Harry, while my friend was still talking to Kenny on the end and they were passing my two CD's back and forth for all three to sign them. When I got the CD's back checking to see if all the band had signed both, I noticed Marty had written "Happy Birthday" above his name on the back of the Badlands CD. That was nice. He looked relaxed and not so stressed. And they were really in their element having a big time while performing. The young guy at the merchandise booth said Marty is doing lots of small venues now as well as the big ones. I don't see how they can do it! But I'm really glad they are. This was one of the best times I've had. Happy Birthday to Me!

Review by Mary Runyan, Dayton, TN

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