It's good to have Marty Stuart back on the new-releases record rack. He's a honky-tonk ambassador -- one of the savviest spokesmen for real-deal country music. After his epic The Pilgrim failed to sell commensurately with its critical praise, the rhinestoned one worked on less-visible projects such as movie soundtracks.
But now he's back with the superb, self-explanatory release Country Music, including a stunning guest appearance from Merle Haggard. Stuart's playing both nights of the Opry at the Ryman this weekend, and that ensures a good time.