Nashville Veteran Marty Stuart To Perform In Mount Dora


This appeared in the Orlando Sentinel - March 13, 2015

You might call Marty Stuart bullheaded, but he is a man who knows what he wants.

Even as a boy, he knew. When he was 12, he saw Connie Smith perform and he told his mother that he would marry her. He had to wait 27 years, but he did marry Smith in 1997 his second marriage at the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. They are still married.

Stuart and his Fabulous Superlatives will perform at 3:30 p.m. Saturday outdoors in Evans Park.

The same year he first saw Smith, he was given his first mandolin. A year later he played it on the stage of the Ryman Auditorium, now known as the Grand Old Opry, as part of the legendary Lester Flatt's band.

Stuart once said waking into Ryman Auditorium with Flatt was like walking in with the pope.

"It was like that moment in The Wizard of Oz when everything goes from black-and-white to color," Stuart said. "He was a master architect of American music. Why he would hire a 13-year-old chimp like me I'll never know."

In 1979, Johnny Cash called. Stuart spent years playing in his band. His first marriage was to Cash's daughter, Cindy. It was Cash who encouraged Stuart to record heartfelt but lower-selling albums, such as Badlands and The Pilgrim.

"J.R. [Cash] was a fearless artist," Stuart said. "He told me that no matter what happens, you follow your heart. If I had to do it over, I'd do it twice."

His latest album, Saturday Night / Sunday Morning, contains his career in a nutshell. Starting with "drinking and cheating" songs, to rockabilly and honky tonk. Then it moves to what Stuart calls "right to the river" on "Uncloudy Day," and winds up with a "big hands-to-heaven" finish on "Cathedral."

Stuart has played with Pops Staples, Merle Haggard, Bob Dylan, Carl Perkins and Roy Orbison.

Not long ago, he had a Saturday night off and he drove from Nashville down to northern Mississippi to see another old pal, Jerry Lee Lewis.

"I watched him tear the place apart," Stuart said.

By Christine Cole


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