Scene & Heard

This appeared in Country Weekly - February 19, 2002

Marty Stuart sees himself and others playing a specific role in country music. "Guys like Steve Earle, Vince Gill, Ricky Skaggs and me, the job assigned to us -- whether we want it or not -- is to be standard bearers, in a sense," he says. "We're the guys who know what was done and know what needs to be done musically. They need guys like us out there."

Marty has been lying low as a recording artist for the last couple years, focusing instead on various projects ranging from film scoring to producing actor Billy Bob Thornton's debut album, Private Radio.

Marty said he'd recently been looking for creative rejuvenation and found it through an awards show. "I gotta tell you, at the last Country Music Association Awards, I saw more mandolins and fiddles and Dobros and bass fiddles on that stage than I've ever seen in years," says Marty. "That got me excited." So now he's hitting the road again, writing new songs and preparing for his first album since 1999's The Pilgrim.

WSM-AM -- the Nashville radio station that's served as the Grand Ole Opry's broadcast home for 76 years -- is keeping its twang. Country fans from throughout the nation sent the station owners a barrage of letters and emails after news spread that they were thinking about changing to an all-sports radio format.

Vince Gill, Marty Stuart and Connie Smith were among those attending the January 14 press conference at the Ryman Auditorium. When Gaylord Entertainment President and Chief Executive Officer Colin Reed announced the station would retain its country format, the crowded room exploded with applause.

By Larry Holden

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