John Ascuaga's Nugget - Sparks, NV on September 28-29, 2001

It has been two long years and six very long months since Marty and The Rock & Roll Cowboys had last performed here at the Nugget. This was to be the fourth time that Marty had come to the Reno/Sparks area and specifically to John Ascuaga's Nugget Hotel Casino. Needless to say, he and the guys had been missed.

This time there were to be two shows. Friday, the day of the first show finally arrives. I happened to be in the lobby of the hotel with Dustin, my 5-year-old grandson, when Marty and the guys arrived. Marty was at a distance but noticed me and gave a short "Hi". Dustin looked at me and I told him that it was OK. He immediately blurted out "Hi, Mardee Stuard". A chuckle rolled out of Marty and the rest of the guys. It was to be a day for Linda and I with our grandson including a show with Marty Stuart and The Rock & Roll Cowboys. Linda could not wait. Dustin could not wait. Two-and-a-half years is a long, long wait, but this last couple of hours was taking forever.

It was 6:30 p.m. and we were running late. The seating was to begin at 7:00 p.m. for the 8:00 p.m. show. We arrived at the Celebrity Showroom not too long after 6:30 p.m. First in line were Clarence, Glenda, Heather, Leah, Sheila and several other Marty Stuart Fan Club members. As we started talking we were informed that we had missed Marty when he came out to see whom had come. "Drats!!" to quote Linda. 7:00 p.m. finally arrived and the seating started. It was not to be too long before the show was to begin.

The lights dimmed. A man's voice comes over the speaker and welcomes us to the Celebrity Showroom and announces "MARTY STUART". The music begins. Marty walks on stage to a great applause and starts singing "Hillbilly Highway." The audience roared with applause. The concert had begun. Marty sounded a little hoarse but that did not stop him. He continued on to give an outstanding show. He was, as usual, all over the stage. It hard to say who enjoyed the show the most,. Marty or the audience. He sang, he talked, he joked. He was all over the stage for a full 75 minutes (unfortunately all the Nugget will allow) giving us his all. By the end of his show, he could barely talk much less sing. As usual, the Marty Stuart we all know and love gave us his all.

Then it came all too soon -- "Hillbilly Rock." After the song was over the audience roared with applause until Marty returned to the stage. His voice fried, Marty gave a few more squirts from his throat spray and then announced, "Don't buy this stuff.... IT SUCKS!" He laughed, the audience laughed and then Marty continued giving with a couple more songs that his voice could handle. He then thanked everyone for coming and left the stage. The show was over. There is a tomorrow.

Saturday's show...........

Enough money lost; it's time to go and see Marty and the Rock & Roll Cowboys. This time Linda and I decided to be at the Celebrity Showroom early. We arrived a little before 6:00 p.m. and the line that was forming looked exactly like the night before. It's no surprise that we all stayed to see both shows. Linda and I waited hoping that Marty would come out to check and see who was there. I guess that he had us all figured out for he never showed. "Drats!!", to quote Linda. Once again all of us Marty fans visited and enjoyed each other's company.

The doors opened a little early tonight. It was probably because they were still doing seating during the first part of yesterday's show. This next hour was to go a lot slower tonight without our grandson. Then, just like the night before, the lights dimmed and a voice welcomed us to the Celebrity Showroom and then boomed "Marty Stuart". The music started and once again Marty started the show with "Hillbilly Highway." His voice sounded better tonight, not as raspy. He looked like he felt better. The show we were to see, though, was as dynamite as the night before. He was once again all over the stage. I don't know where he gets all that energy. Someone shouts out "Happy Birthday". Marty thanked the person and then proceeded to admit to being 43 years of age. You could tell that he is comfortable with his age and who he is. I think this is one of the main reasons why he is loved so much by all.

Marty then continued on and belted out one song after another. A few the same as the night before; yet more that were not. The night before, Marty did not play his mandolin. He had told us that American Airlines decided to keep it for a while. He quickly announced that from now on he would be flying Southwest Airlines. Once again Marty did not play his mandolin. American Airlines lost it. I am sure that he will get it back. Marty is great on the mandolin and he can do some real show stoppers with it. He does not need it to give a great show that you will always remember.

In between some of the songs, Marty told a joke (he admits to knowing only one), talked about Johnny Cash and joked and talked with the audience. It all happened so fast that when "Hillbilly Rock" started you just knew it had to be way too soon. He thanked his audience for coming and he thanked the staff and management for how well they had been treated during their stay. He waved to all and walked off the stage. Once again his audience gave thunderous applause until Marty and the Rock and Roll Cowboys returned. Tonight Marty asked the audience what they would like to hear. One voice after another yelled out a song. He tried a bit of one and of another finally performed two more songs. He then took the time to walk along the front of the stage shaking hands. The night was over and Marty once again walked off the stage waving to us all. We all know that he will be back because he knows that we love him here in Reno / Sparks, Nevada.

Marty gave a Meet & Greet both nights after the shows. Although he was a bit under the weather Friday night you would not know it. He was gracious, kind, funny, honest, loving and just nice to all of us fans. He posed for pictures and gave hugs and handshakes to all that desired. He has that ability to make each and everyone of us feel special. I suppose that is why we all feel that Marty is such a giving special special person.

Review by John Ammons, Reno, NV

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