Marty Stuart To Perform At Gathering In The Gap

This appeared in the Kingsport Times News - March 31, 2012

The sixth annual Gathering in the Gap Music Festival will feature five-time Grammy® Award winner Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives.

The music festival is slated for May 26 on the grounds of the Southwest Virginia Museum Historical State Park in Big Stone Gap celebrating the rich tradition of old-time, Americana and bluegrass music in the region.

From his start singing gospel as a child, Stuart enjoyed a bluegrass stint with Lester Flatt in the 1970s and six years with Johnny Cash in the 1980s, then reeled off smash “hillbilly rock” hits of the 1990s.

The five-time Grammy winner, platinum recording artist and Grand Ole Opry star is a country music memorabilia preservationist, stylist, designer, photographer, songwriter and all-around renaissance man.

Now the leader of a versatile touring and recording band, the Fabulous Superlatives, Stuart possesses a missionary’s zeal to secure the heritage of the music and its themes for longtime fans and newcomers.

Musicologist Peter North writes that Stuart “seems wrapped in his destiny at this point in time. Not only as country music’s most notable ambassador/caretaker, but as its main archetypical crusader. He has without question evolved into one of the most important roots musicians and visionaries in America.”

Stuart said he is always on the prowl for the kinds of recordings that can inspire and make a difference.

“What inspires me now is traditional music. It’s the music I most cherish, the culture in which I was raised. It’s the bedrock upon which the empire of country music is built, the empowering force that provides this genre with lasting credibility,” he said.

“It’s beyond trends, and it’s timeless. With all that being said, I found traditional country music to be on the verge of extinction. It’s too precious to let slip away. I wanted to attempt to write a new chapter.”

That “new chapter” is Ghost Train (The Studio B Sessions) that include the male-female duet with Connie Smith, “I Run to You,” a dramatic recitation as part of “Porter Wagoner’s Grave,” a story son written by Stuart, the bluesy and spooky “Ghost Train Four-Oh-Ten,” and such steel guitar driven heartbreak ballads as “A World Without You” and “Drifting Apart.”

In addition to the special performance by Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives, this year’s Gathering in the Gap festival will include main stage performances by Dave Eggar and Deoro, Dale Jett and Hello Stranger, and Ron Short and The Possum Playboys, as well as the festival’s annual songwriting competition, workshops, musical competitions, jams, a children’s area, and “Stitch in Time” Quilt Show.

Antique, food and craft vendors will also be on hand.

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