Marty Stuart And His Fabulous Superlatives

This appeared in the Paris Post-Intelligencer - November 21, 2014

If you missed Marty Stuart’s first performance — 2012 — at The Dixie Carter Performing Arts & Enrichment Center in Huntingdon, circle December 13 on your calendar.

A five-time Grammy winning multi-instrumentalist, singer, songwriter, photographer and historian, Marty Stuart has been making music for more than 40 years. Born in the small town of Philadelphia, Mississippi, Stuart caught the music bug early, displaying prodigious talent on every stringed instrument he picked up.

“When you attend a Marty Stuart show, you not only experience a legendary performer, but he brings so much knowledge of country music history with him and shares that,” said Lori Neal Nolen, executive director of The Dixie. “He puts on an incredible show.”

At an age when most kids were running bases in Little League, 13-year-old Stuart was on a cross-country tour playing mandolin with the legendary Lester Flatt’s road band. In his 20s, Stuart toured with Johnny Cash, Bill Monroe, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins.

By the late 1980s, he was a solo artist.

But then he stepped away from playing “butt-wigglin’ songs” in coliseums when he realized he just wasn’t enjoying the music. He took time off to unwind and sought sage advice from his mentor and friend, Johnny Cash. So, instead of chasing hits, Stuart vowed to let his heart be the chart and recorded The Pilgrim, a critical success and an album he calls a “line-in-the-dirt artistic moment of reconnecting with my true self.”

Stuart soon recruited musicians Kenny Vaughan, Harry Stinson and Paul Martin for his “legacy band,” and together he and His Fabulous Superlatives have released acclaimed albums like Ghost Train: The Studio B Sessions, Souls’ Chapel and their latest, Saturday Night / Sunday Morning.

Named Best Guitarist in the Nashville Scene Music Awards in 2000, Vaughan’s style includes rock ’n’ roll, blues, country, soul, western swing, jazz and “tomorrow grass.” Vaughan fronted his own band in Chicago and New York City before moving to Nashville in 1987. He has since toured and recorded with Lucinda Williams, Patty Loveless, Rodney Crowell and Stuart.

Harry Stinson is a Nashville native known as a drummer, singer, songwriter and producer. He began his professional career touring with Dottie West in the early 1970s. During a 10-year stint in California, Stinson worked with artists such as Al Stewart, Etta James and Peter Frampton but returned to Nashville in 1985 performing on “Guitar Town” and playing on some of Stuart’s early hits as well as recording with Lyle Lovett, Alison Krauss, Conway Twitty, Buck Owens, Earl Scruggs, and Dolly Parton.

Paul Martin spent five years playing guitar and singing lead vocals with the country/pop super group Exile until the mid-90s when the Kentucky native focused on writing, producing and engineering in his recording studio. As a multi-instrumentalist, Martin has toured with Kathy Mattea, the Oak Ridge Boys and Steve Wariner. He has written and recorded a wide range of projects from commercial jingles and recordings from country, rock, pop, bluegrass, gospel and more.

Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives showcase their first-class musicianship on the road and on The Marty Stuart Show, a musical variety program on RFD-TV.

By Bill McCutcheon

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