Icon Returns To Stony Festival

This appeared in The Grove Examiner - July 29, 2011

A country music icon will take the stage at this weekend's Blueberry Bluegrass & Country Music Festival, bringing with him nearly four decades of musical experience.

Grand Ole Opry member Marty Stuart will play two sets for this weekend's festival and is expected to play his classic hits along with songs from his latest album Ghost Train: The Studio B Sessions.

This isn't Stuart's first time at the Blueberry Bluegrass Festival as he headlined the event in 2009, but for Stuart coming back to play couldn't come soon enough.

"I really like the atmosphere of the show," Stuart said. "Just the friendliness of the place is great."

What makes this year extra special for is that he will be joined by his greatest collaborative partner, his wife and fellow Opry member Connie Smith.

"Well we don't get to play music together as often as we'd like," Stuart said. "So this is kind of a treat for us."

Stuart, who was born in Philadelphia, Mississippi, is known for rockabilly and country music hits like "Tempted" and "The Whiskey Ain't Workin' " but actually got his start by playing bluegrass with The Sullivans at the age of 12.

From there, Stuart joined bluegrass performer Lester Flatt's band and played him until his death in 1978, prompting Stuart to release his first solo album With a Little Help From My Friends.

Stuart would then once again become a member of another country musician's band; none other than legendary Johnny Cash.

His career would eventually take off with his forth studio album, Hillbilly Rock released in 1989 and featuring the songs "Don't Leave Her Lonely Too Long" and a cover version of Cash's "Cry! Cry! Cry!."

Stuart would follow up the success of Hillbilly Rock with two more top 20 albums Tempted and This One's Gonna Hurt You, both containing multiple chart-topping singles.

Stuart feels blessed to have had the career he's had and the opportunity to play in front of so many of his fans.

"It's a great way to make a living."

By Jordan Wilkins

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