Marty Stuart Makes Church A Priority During UK Run

This appeared on The Boot Blog - January 26, 2011

Marty Stuart is heading overseas to England, Ireland and Scotland for the first time in about 10 years this weekend, and he's psyched not only about playing for the adoring European crowds, who really hold a deep love for traditional country music, but also about something you might not expect -- church-hopping. No, he isn't worried about making mass and confessing his sins while on tour. But Marty does have a confession to make:

"I really love cathedrals," Marty tells The Boot. "I'm a cathedral hopper. And I found a place in London that specializes in artifacts from demolished churches that you can buy and bring home. So I hope I don't find anything, but I have to go see about it. I put them in the house and also in my collection."

Marty has another collection that has made headlines and drawn worldwide fame over the past few years at places like the Louvre in Paris: his collection of country memorabilia. He currently owns approximately 20,000 musical artifacts, from rhinestoned costumes to hand-written lyrics, and he has to have a warehouse to store the collection, it's gotten so big. He explains how his habit of picking up things from his time on the road turned into such an amazing collection.

"It started when I was a kid asking people who came through my hometown if I could get their autograph and 8x10 pictures. And when I was in Lester Flatts' band, they would throw away the guitar picks or the ties because they had too much makeup on them, and Lester would write out a set list and then throw it in the garbage, and I'd think, 'That looks too important to throw away,' so I'd say, 'Can I have this?' And that's sort of the way it started."

The Mississippi-born troubadour who cut his musical teeth touring with Flatts and Johnny Cash before launching his own notable country career says his television show, The Marty Stuart Show, on RFD-TV helped create renewed excitement for his music abroad. It was also the impetus for his upcoming six-concert UK tour, which kicks off January 28, 2011 in Glasgow.

"RFD-TV has a syndicate over there called Rural TV, and the shows have been airing over there. It's been about a decade since me and my band the Superlatives went over there, and all of the sudden it's like there's this demand for us to come over there, so we're going to Scotland, England, and Ireland playing six concerts in nine days," says Marty. "The show has a lot to do with the demand for us again, and also the restaging of traditional country music has a lot to do with it too, because they love traditional country over there. They have a healthy respect for traditional country and revere it over there, more than here even."

Marty's new album, Ghost Train (The Studio B Sessions) no doubt helped create some demand for the singer in the United Kingdom as well. He received two Grammy® nods for the album: Best Country Collaboration with Vocals for the track 'I Run to You,' and Best Country Instrumental for 'Hummingbyrd.' The CD was recorded in Nashville's legendary Studio B.

By Lorie Hollabaugh

Return To Articles Return To Home Page