Remarkable Comes To Town
Marty Stuart set to perform as part of Rhythm & Roots Reunion
|This appeared on TriCities.com - September 15, 2011|
Make way for country musics renaissance man.
Straight out of Philadelphia, Mississippi by way of Nashville, Tennessee comes the cowboy boots wearing, Fender Telecaster slinging, hard country singing, silver-haired pistol son of many a country gun.
Call him Marty Stuart.
Set to launch during Bristols Rhythm & Roots on September 17 from the State Street Stage, Stuart rides astride country musics halcyon past while rocketing forth into the future. Hes no relic. Hes no fake. Underscore real and attach a rooster-haired, rhinestoned look and theres Stuart. Brand his career remarkable.
Blessed, Stuart said via one of several recent interviews in regards to his roots. To make something original, that was my goal. Authenticity has a way of sticking around.
Roots speak to the essence of Stuart. Theres country and theres bluegrass, blues, rock, gospel and soul music, too. And then theres Marty Stuart.
Thank you, Stuart said. Blame it on Mississippi. Thats where all that stuff came from. I embraced it and its been good to me. Theres so much out there to enjoy.
Album to album throughout his storied career, those whose shoulders he stands upon appear alongside Stuart like guiding lights.
Ive got one on (the album Compadres with Merle Haggard on Farmers Blues, Stuart said. Theres one of me and Johnny Cash. And theres a song on there that I recorded using Jimmie Rodgers guitar.
Inspiration seethes at the center of Stuart. Hear it when he sings, see it in his eyes, notice it in the notes played on his terrific Fender Telecaster guitar. Oh, and when inspiration comes to him?
I feel a smile on my face, he said. I feel like something inside me clicks and urges me. Its a divine feeling. I play a different way. I sing a different way. Its just business up until then. And I never know when its gonna come.
And when it comes to Stuart, sometimes the music floods like the raging Mississippi River well beyond its banks. For example, he released three albums in 2005, each connected yet different, like branches from a tree.
Look at Stuart as Lewis and Clark wrapped up in a guitar-toting, twanging explorative soul. Gospel reverberates along the same pew with country music in Stuarts church of music. He worships each. For example, theres his gospel album Souls' Chapel.
With Souls' Chapel I went to church while Badlands is more of a spiritual album, and then the Ryman album, that was done in the Mother Church of Country Music, Stuart said. These are my church house trilogy.
Busy bee Stuarts Souls' Chapel from 2005 sounds like a meeting at church whereby blues, gospel and country music meet in the pews to get down to the music in the name of the Lord.
Thats close enough for me, Stuart said. Gospel music is at the very core of my being. Its the wellspring of my spirit. The setting is the Mississippi Delta. Thats home for me. It was the crossroads of blues and country and gospel and rock n roll. It originated under one roof. I didnt want this to be the token hillbilly gospel music record.
Now take Stuarts Badlands record from 2005. Johnny Cashs 1964 groundbreaker Bitter Tears took a hard look at the plight of Native Americans. Stuarts Badlands sort of picks up where Cashs left off.
It was the spiritual father of it, Stuart said. Also, I was raised in Philadelphia, Mississippi, which is the heart of the Choctaw Nation. I was well aware that they needed an outside voice to arbitrate. I had to make Badlands.
Add his latest album, Ghost Train (The Studio B Session).
Tie 'em all with a strong rope of authenticity. That word like many others belongs at the heart of Stuart and his music. He protects them seemingly with every song sung.
You need to watch authenticity, and were getting away from that, Stuart said. Johnny Cash brought a story to the table. Merle Haggard brings stories. It was like they brought letters from home, from where they came from."
By Tom Netherland
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