SXSW - Day 4

This is from an online blog - March 19, 2006

So I spent much of my Saturday night in church.

It just so happened that two of the most high-energy shows I saw this year was scheduled at the Central Presbyterian Church in downtown Austin.

Granted, the religion I heard about at these shows didn't sound much like that preached Friday by Rev. megaphone. There wasn't much talk about Hell and damnation. Instead, I heard about love and blessings. The singers I heard sang about Jesus as a friend, not a warden.

Later in the evening, Marty Stuart and his band The Fabulous Superlatives did a breathtaking gospel set at Central Presbyterian. Stuart, a longtime Nashville vet and former sideman for Johnny Cash, released a gospel album called Souls' Chapel -- which I've got to get my hands on.

Stuart and band infuse gospel with strong portions of rockabilly and blues, and, one one guitar instrumental, even a sanctified version of surf music.

He was on fire.

By Stephen W. Terrell

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