Your Interview With Marty Stuart

This appeared on No Depression - May 15, 2012

A couple of weeks ago, Marty Stuart released Nashville, Volume 1: Tear the Woodpile Down - a ten-song collection celebrating his career and his favorite music. We shared a free stream of the album with you and asked for you to submit questions you'd like to ask Marty if you had the chance.

Now, he's chosen ten of those questions to answer. Each of the people who submitted these questions will receive an autographed copy of Nashville, Volume 1 on CD. Even those of you who didn't enter may enjoy what Marty Stuart had to say to his fans. So, without further ado, we give you your interview with Marty Stuart:

What present day influences help your music stay so relevant to a large, listening audience while retaining the sound of true country music? (Martha Ann Brooks)

Marty: The most current live wire, on fire, thing anyone on this earth could ever hope to be a part of is the Fabulous Superlatives. Kenny Vaughan, Harry Stinson, Paul Martin, Mick Conley, and Philip Clark are my current influences.

You draw on a deep well of tradition for your songs, but who are the top three influences, other than Hank Williams, on your? songwriting; and who are the biggest influences on your guitar playing? (Henry Carrigan)

Marty: I love Woody Guthrie, Merle Haggard, Johnny Cash and Dallas Frazier songs. My favorite guitar players are Luther Perkins, Ralph Mooney and Clarence White.

As the steward of guitars such as the Fender Telecaster 'Clarence,' I think it's fantastic that you? have chosen to play them rather than just keep them locked away as an investment. Have you been fortunate to find any more of these special instruments recently? Perhaps, could you tell us a story of how you came to own one of you favorites? (Jack Ripple)

Marty: Yeah, the 1956 D-28 Martin that J. R (Cash) used when he recorded “I Walk the Line” and Porter’s 1957 D-28 that he used on his last TV show.

Who do you have on your fantasy wish-list of collaborators - past or present - that would really surprise us? (Ryan Mifflin)

Marty: Louis Armstrong, Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Tammy Wynette.

If you could have only one album to listen to for the rest of your life, what would it be? (Todd Sharp)

Marty: “Johnny Cash Live at Folsom Prison.”

Thanks for the great show last weekend at Dominican University in River Forest... Your set got me listening again to Clarence White's work with The Byrds, especially on the half live/half studio "Untitled" record. What impact has Clarence's playing had on your recent?work with the Superlatives? I would love to hear you guys cover "Truck Stop Girl" from that album! (Brian C.)

Marty: I like “Truckstop Girl.” Untitled is one of my favorite recordings. As time has gone on, Clarence’s influence keeps finding its way into Superlative world; “Hummingbyrd” comes to mind.

Is your songwriting ever inspired by the historically significant instruments you own? If so, which one the most, and why? (Scott Yeager)

Marty: Absolutely. When I play Pops Staples’ guitar with some tremelo on it, it causes me to think like Pops.

Can you tell us something you learned while working with Lester Flatt that still sticks with you... something which still informs how you go about doing things today? (Lawrence P. Beron)

Marty: On the first trip with Lester, he talked to me about how the fans should be respected. I’ve remembered that and he was right, as usual.

I know you are a Christian. Have you had a period in your life when you felt you were "drifting too far from the shore?" If so, did something or someone happen in your life to bring your heart back closer to the Lord? Did it have any affect on your music? (Theresa Jane Seabloom)

Marty: It’s this simple, I got sober 8 years ago. God’s grace found me again. The shore reappeared.

Your 1999 album The Pilgrim remains a monumental artistic achievement. It is hard to imagine the creative work that went into its conception, writing and performance. Is there a possibility you might put together a one-time show (or maybe a limited tour) in which it would be presented live in its entirety?? (Garry Galbreath)

Marty: I love that record. I’m certain that it will be re-released and no doubt taken on a new life of its own.

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