Review From The Big Valley Jamboree

This appeared in the Edmonton Sun - August 3, 2008

Marty Stuart was once new-school. Late '80s, when a "next generation" revived Nashville with Stuart, Rodney Crowell, Roseanne Cash, and newbies coming on board like Randy Travis, Dwight Yoakam and Steve Earle.

In reality, Stuart was always old-school -- way old-school. As in genuine Telecaster-twanging, honky-tonking, blue-grassed, bar-dancing music dressed up in rhinestones, hankies and Ol' Hank.

Musically raised by the great man himself - Mr. Cash to you and me - Stuart jumped straight into his Hillbilly Rock days of hits, and kept rolling along with his band the Fabulous Superlatives. (Name says it all.) They treated the BVJ crowd to a set that somehow managed to be both laidback and swinging.

Stuart stopped briefly to make jokes, tell stories, and put in a plug for the Hurtin' Albertan himself, Corb Lund, who was in the wings, stage-side for the show. Then Marty picked up an acoustic guitar and made a BVJ crowd as quiet as you can make it, singing a beautiful song called "Dark Bird" he wrote for his pal, our hero, that one-and-only Johnny Cash. The standing ovation seemed like both a response to the song and a message to the Man in Black.

By Crash Cameron

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