This annual midnight concert is to the CMA Music Festival what Marty Stuart is to country music. That is, he brings something traditional yet bold and vital to the proceedings, saluting the historic and unafraid to step out on the cutting edge. Stuart loves the rock of ages yet he also digs the rock of this age, and his fifth annual Jam is the unofficial launch party of the festival. It includes country music veterans like Travis Tritt, Kathy Mattea and Connie Smith as well as the legendary a-cappella gospel group The Fairfield Four. Also on the bill are new country artist John Stone, punk-a-billies Th' Legendary Shack Shakers, master percussionist Jim Block and the little-known but can't-be-missed Don Chambers and Goat, who sounds like Tom Waits if he'd grown up in the North Georgia mountains. Stuart will perform with his outstanding quartet, The Fabulous Superlatives. Once again, profits go to MusiCares, the nonprofit company that aids professional musicians in need. Stuart's already made moves to put the organization in touch with the families of Charles Lilly and Daniel Patton who died along with Grand Ole Opry star Billy Walker and his wife Bettie in a car accident while returning home from a show in Alabama.
By Michael McCall