Parting Shot - Marty Stuart

This appeared on Western Shooting Horse - December 24, 2012

Traditional country music performer Marty Stuart has a long history with the genre and a loyal devotion to his fans. Always touring with his 12-years-strong band, The Fabulous Superlatives, and often making appearances at events such as the Grand Ole Opry, the Hendersonville, Tennessee, resident stays busy. He also films 26 episodes of his RFD-TV television program The Marty Stuart Show each year and still finds time to explore his passion for photography.

Why does he do it? If you ask Stuart, he’s just following his calling to keep traditional country music’s position in relevant American art. The creation of art is what drives him.

“Every night on stage is a brand-new experience,” Stuart said. “We start with a basic set of songs and just go from there. We have a mission, and a band with a mission is a

band worth seeing. We get as much enjoyment out of our shows as the audience does because we just like to keep it fresh every night.”

Stuart began his country music career 40 years ago, and with major influencers including Lester Flatt, Earl Scruggs and Johnny Cash, Stuart’s musical style could be described as evergreen.

“These artists were my professors,” Stuart said of the legends. “They were all timeless characters they made timeless music and they did timeless performances. That’s how I was trained.”

Today, Stuart is a legend himself. Over the years, he has stayed true to his music and his fans. In fact, the reason he started The Marty Stuart Show in 2008 was to fill a void in the country music scene.

“Merle Haggard and I decided to start at the foundational level of country music and cover it all the way to current stars,” Stuart said. “It’s a 21st century version of a 1960’s format show. It’s not about the latest record, but about making evergreen shows that totally entertain and welcomes like-minded legends and kids alike. There’s nothing retro about it. It’s authentic. I think that’s what touches people’s hearts about it.”

Stuart’s latest album Nashville, Volume 1: Tear the Woodpile Down is another cherished chapter in traditional country music. Stuart says the album is a collection of classic, authentic songs.

It’s wonderful to have the opportunity to play traditional country music inside of a very pop Nashville,” Stuart said. “I really try to record songs that stand the test of time and stand up sonically, in subject matter and from a musical performance standpoint.”

Recently, Stuart was featured by collectible firearm company America Remembers. The Marty Stuart Tribute Revolver is a limited-edition single-action revolver engraved with 24-carat-gold designs and script. Stuart treasures the gun and keeps it close to him.

“I’ve absolutely been honored,” Stuart said. “I think it’s one of the most touching tributes I’ve ever had. It’s just a beautifully done pistol. I think as a country boy, it’s the ultimate tribute.

By Abigail Boatwright

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