Marty Stuart: The Masters

Marty Stuart's spectacular photo book is not just a chapter of American history, it's a love letter to the people and music that have helped shape our culture.

This appeared on Country - December 4, 2008

Ask Marty Stuart what he wants readers to take away from the pages of his magnificent Country Music: The Masters photo book, and he hesitates a moment before responding. And that’s understandable since the book of mostly his photos—the majority black and white, with some color interspersed—focuses on so many true American icons in so many touching, nostalgic, heartbreaking and humorous ways.

But finally, the man known as much for his eloquent appreciation of country music’s roots as for his own outstanding musicianship, sums up what he hopes the book will mean to people.

“It’s a big chapter of American history,” declares Marty. “It’s a lasting chapter, a colorful chapter. These people—their music, their suits, their boots—they were all part of our lives.

“But the beautiful story is it’s movin’ on. It’s like that song I wrote, ‘It’s the Same Train, Just a Different Time.’

“You could turn right around and do a new book and call it Modern Country Masters. You could find Dwight and Lorrie and Alison and Alan and Garth and Marty and Vince and Travis. The beautiful part is it’s not a dead story. It’s a story that’s rollin’ on. Country music is a great train. It just keeps movin’.”

If you’re a country music fan or know one who’ll never be able to thank you enough for a Christmas gift like this one, you need to get this book. Or if you’re just a fan of America or know someone who is, get this book. It’ll touch the hearts of all who see it.

By David Scarlett

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