Marty Stuart, Glee Club

This appeared in the Nottingham Post - January 31, 2011

It took a champion of traditional American country music to bring glitz to the Nottingham Glee Club on Sunday. And to heighten the mood, diehards in the audience had donned their best cowboy gear.

Compared to the pop variety spewing out of Nashville, Marty Stuart's brand of country is the real thing. He used the famed Studio B for his latest album, featuring gems like his own "Drifting Apart" and Don Reno's "Country Boy Rock And Roll."

And boy, does he know how to put his material over, as you'd expect from an ex-member of the Johnny Cash band. He described his struggle to pen a song about Cash, until inspiration came in the shape of a crow – hence the rhapsodic "Dark Bird."

At this point he stood alone on the stage, going on to play a sparkly mandolin solo.

Either side, though, the colleagues who constitute his Fabulous Superlatives lived up to their billing: Oklahoma-born guitarist Kenny Vaughan, linchpin drummer Harry Stinson and versatile "Apostle" Paul Martin on bass.

Each had their solo spots, and in a gospel sequence they pooled their vocal talent in out-of-this-world harmonies.

Earlier, Stuart remembered Buddy Holly ("Crying, Waiting, Hoping") and paid tribute to absent singer-wife Connie Smith by referencing Roger Miller's "Not In Nottingham."

Other delights included a genial "The Whiskey Ain't Workin'," a heart-stopping "Long Black Veil" and – among the farewell pieces – "Hillbilly Rock."

By Peter Palmer

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