Marty Stuart, Nashville, Volume 1 Is Hard-Hitting Country Music

This appeared on The Boot - March 15, 2012

Marty Stuart's new album, Nashville, Volume 1: Tear the Woodpile Down, continues to take the singer down his journey of rediscovering country music.

"It would be full of country music," Marty tells The Boot with a smile. "It's wonderful music. Seven or eight of the ten songs on it are originals. Every one of them is special."

The singer brings a bit of country music royalty with him on the CD, which is set to release on April 24 via Sugar Hill Records. "Hank III (Hank Williams Jr.'s son) came by and we did his grandpa's song 'Picture From Life's Other Side.' That closes the record. Then Mother Maybelle Carter's granddaughter, Lorrie Carter Bennett, came by and sang with us on one of the songs. The rest are just hard-hitting country music."

Marty is celebrating 40 years doing what he loves, he's proud to be playing what he calls real country music. The Mississippi native arrived in Nashville on Labor Day Weekend, 1972. "I came to Nashville from the land of Jimmie Rodgers, looking for a place to belong inside the world of country music. It was a country boy Hollywood, the air castle of the South, a dream factory."

Considered one of the artists who is a true historian of country music, Stuart not only has a collection of memorabilia huge enough to start his own museum in Mississippi, but a love for the music that allows all the country singers today, no matter whether they have pop leanings or straight-ahead country, to come to town and declare themselves a part of the country music community.

Marty says that when he first came to town, the worst thing you could do was take country music and add a little rock 'n roll to it. My, how times have changed. "Today, the most outlaw thing you can possibly do in Nashville is play country music," he declares. That's just fine with Marty, who continues to perform the music he grew up loving before he started touring with the likes of the late Lester Flatt and became friends with the legendary Johnny Cash.

Marty has performed a variety of music since he's been in town, everything from bluegrass to his self-proclaimed hillbilly rock. However, it's the mainstream country that has brought him the most joy in recent years.

"When I reconnected with traditional country music, I found myself, my calling," Marty says. "The kind that is timeless, beautiful, beyond trend, the empowering force, the reflection of a people and a culture. The kind of country music that the working man and scholars alike call home ... The job seemed to be to champion it, love it, protect it, care for its people, attempt to write a new chapter for it and to make sure that everybody understands that it's alive and well in the 21st century."

If anyone doubts his love for country, just check out The Marty Stuart Show on RFD-TV. The singer-songwriter and wife Connie Smith welcome a host of country singers as they explore the traditions that country music has to offer. Among those traditions will be the songs found on the upcoming release of Nashville, Volume 1: Tear the Woodpile Down, on April 24.

By Vernell Hackett

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