Stuart Will Perform At Plaza Theatre On Friday

This appeared in the Glasgow Daily Times - January 31, 2008

It’s easy to understand why Marty Stuart has been dubbed country music’s renaissance man.

The artist is constantly dabbling in a variety of artistic projects that include music, photography and writing.

“As a creative soul, a creative spirit, a creative person nothing makes me any happier than to be in the middle of something,” he said.

In 2007, he produced two albums – one for the late country legend Porter Wagner and one for fellow recording artist Kathy Mattea entitled Coal about the struggles of coal miners. He also wrote a book, Country Music: The Masters, which features over 300 pages of photographs Stuart shot himself of country greats like Johnny Cash.

As it turns out, 2008 will be even busier for Stuart.

He is in the process of writing a new album that he says will be a “straight country album.”

Stuart couldn’t share much about the album, only that it has been in the works for quite some time. “It knows a whole lot more about me than I know about it at this time,” he said.

His inspiration for the album, he said, is coming from real life experiences. “The best albums are written from the experiences in true life,” he said. “God hands me some pretty interesting experiences from time to time.”

Stuart is also writing a second book and is hosting a weekly show, Marty Stuart’s Ameri-can Odyssey, on XM Radio. In addition to those projects, he is promoting a museum exhibit featuring select items from Stuart’s personal collection of country music memorabilia.

“I was raised in the old world of country music,” he said. The “old world” he is referring to is when country music was all about glitz and glamour.

“In the early 1980s, I was working with Johnny Cash’s band and I noticed the look and sound of country music was changing,” he said.

It was a visit to London’s Hard Rock Cafe that gave him the idea of preserving the “old world” of country music. Stuart wanted to save the rhinestone suits and other personal effects of country greats whether it be the costumes they wore, the music they wrote, or the instruments they played.

“So, I just got on a crusade to find and save and collect this stuff until it can get to the right place,” he said.

His collection contains over 20,000 items, including costumes, manuscripts, instruments, art, recordings, photo and film archives.

An exhibit called Sparkle and Twang: Marty Stuart’s American Musical Odyssey, which contains items from his personal collection will be on display at the Old State House Museum in Little Rock, Arkansas, from April to October.

But that’s not all.

“On top of that is real life and touring,” he said.

Stuart began his 2008 tour in Alaska. The tour will take him to the Deep South and then to France, plus a quick trip to the northern Midwest only to return back to the South.

“I was up for an adventure,” he said.

One stop on his tour is the Plaza Theatre. Stuart will perform in concert here on February 1. “I love playing places like your town,” he said. “There’s a freedom in those places. It’s all about music for the right reason.”

Stuart does find time to rest and when he does, he says he tries do “as close to nothing as possible.”

By Gina Kinslow

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