Universal South Entertainment Introduces Superlatone Records Imprint from Marty Stuart
First release is gospel collection Soul's Chapel
|This is a press release from Universal South Entertainment - May 11, 2005|
NASHVILLE --- Tony Brown and Tim DuBois of Universal South Records announce the launching of Superlatone Records, an imprint label to exist as an on-going home for musical and cultural offerings from the prolific artist Marty Stuart. The first fruit of the association will be the August 28, 2005, release of Soul's Chapel, a collection that Stuart terms "Mississippi gospel." Subsequent scheduled music releases shall include Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives Live at the Ryman, a live recording that documents a concert Stuart and his band gave in July 2003 at the original home of the Grand Ole Opry, and Badlands, which addresses Stuart's long-held interest in the lives of Native Americans
Stuart is an accomplished photographer, historian, collector, storyteller, musician, songwriter and archivist; he always has been mindful of country music's place in American culture while at the same time he has operated as a Platinum-selling recording artist. Superlatone Records offers the deeply musical yet fully multi-media focus that the Philadelphia, Mississippi, native has long craved for his interests in southern culture. After a successful and acclaimed tour throughout the 1990's as a recording artist for MCA Records Nashville, Stuart now turns his attention to more expansive work.
"The '90s era of country music and my participation in it had run its course," he explains. "I was looking for broader terms, and I found it parallel to the arts, instead of just within the confines of the country music charts. I have reached a point in my life where I've asked myself, 'What do I need?' Another car, another pair of cowboy boots, another Telecaster?' It became a whole lot more important to me to be true to the art and the vision and the spirit of creativity than trying to chase a chart."
Now 46, Stuart, who released 14 albums between 1978 and 2003, is an unusually alert man with charisma to burn. To hear him talk about his concerns is to understand why Karen Schoemer, formerly of The New York Times, once wrote that Stuart "understands the heart of country music -- it's glitz and its grime, its roots, and its living traditions" as naturally as other people grasp the notion of getting up in the morning. He is not someone to lose sight of his passions, ever.
"Marty sees himself as carrying the torch for southern culture," Brown says. "He's a real music historian, and he can talk about music in depth. He probably knows more about the history of country music, next to critics, than anyone I know."
Stuart is not a newcomer in his relationships with Brown and DuBois. "Marty brings much to the table," DuBois says. "I have tremendous respect for him as an artist -- his taste, the fact that he is not only a great writer but also a great photographer and historian. Everyone who knows him is aware of his expertise and varied interests. Now people outside Marty's circle will have a chance to experience his work in a deeper way."
"In our industry," Brown says, "success is usually judged by immediate record sales. Yet it's interesting to watch the steady growth over the past 15-20 years of artists such as Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris, and Alison Krauss. They don't necessarily always play the game but have made music on their own terms and enjoyed success. I'm glad labels still sign and put out records by artists of the caliber of Willie and Emmylou--and I think Marty fits into that category. This label gives him an outlet to express himself fully."
UPCOMING SUPERLATONE RECORDS RELEASES:
Soul's Chapel: (release date: August 28, 2005). Recorded at The Arc in Hendersonville, Tennessee, outside Nashville, and produced by Stuart, this 11-song sacred collection of old classics and newly composed songs coalesces various music strains into a style that Stuart describes as "Mississippi gospel," inspired by the work of the Staple Singers and other Mississippi Delta artists. Stuart's band -- drummer Harry Stinson, bassist Brian Glenn, and guitarist Kenny Vaughan -- appear, with Stinson and Glenn forgoing their instruments to contribute vocals. Each of the three musicians contribute a lead vocal, as does guest Mavis Staples, who helps Stuart climax the set on "Move Along Train."
Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives Live at the Ryman: (release date to be announced). This July 24, 2003 concert of traditional bluegrass music was never intended to be released officially, and was recorded for routine archival purposes only. But the ultimate vitality of the performances argued otherwise. "With a natural pedigree in bluegrass music by way of my apprenticeship with Lester Flatt," Stuart says, "I finally made a bluegrass record. It was a happy accident, a one-off evening at the Ryman. Unrehearsed. Unplanned. At the end of the show, the sound man handed me a bootleg tape of the show, and that was what later became my first bluegrass recording." Banjoist Charlie Cushman and fiddle player Stuart Duncan join Stuart and his band, and the set includes as well a rare appearance by the veteran dobro legend Josh Graves.
Badlands: (release date to be announced). Stuart and John Carter Cash produced this 14-song collection of original compositions, including one obscure song written by Johnny Cash, at The Cash Cabin in Hendersonville. It addresses the historic and contemporary lives of Native Americans. The album is performed by Stuart and his band and, on one song, features Connie Smith's wordless vocal harmonizing. "This album," Stuart says, "is a collection of ballads, a journey through the past, present, and future of the Native American people in and around Pine Ridge, South Dakota. The songs range from the legends of Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull to the tragedy of Wounded Knee to the modern day struggles of the original Americans."
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