It's A Marty Party

Love and Luck pushes Stuart forward

This appeared in The Tennessean - June 3, 1994

Marty Stuart is easing into the tour for his latest album Love And Luck--and the water seems fine. "It's kind of like a kid getting put in a bathtub. Once I get in, then I don't want to leave. But I have to be drug out on tour," says the country boy with the flashy clothes and moussed hair.

Stuart brings his "Marty Party" to Opryland's Acuff Theater tomorrow and Sunday and again in September. In between he'll travel non-stop around the United States with "maybe a day off in the fall," he says with a laugh.

"For the first time in my life, I have a home and I really enjoy being around home a lot," the 35-year-old says. He lives in Nashville on the Cumberland River. "At the same time, after I hit the first note of music and hear the first around of applause, I'm ready to stay out there as long as they'll have me."

If things keep on as they're going, Stuart may have even less time to spend at home. Love And Luck, Stuart's seventh album, is being hailed by critics as his best work to date. Listening to the cuts, Stuart's diverse musical influences come through--blues, gospel, rock and traditional country. "It's a bit eclectic," Stuart admits. "But it all seems to tie in."

The binding force is Stuart himself, who started out singing at gospel tent meetings in Mississippi when he was 11, toured with bluegrass legend Lester Flatt when he was 13, played with Johnny Cash's band for six years and won a Grammy for his 1992 recording with Travis Tritt The Whiskey Ain't Workin'. "Basically, whether it's bluegrass or whatever, if it rocks, I like to do it. A good twang, a little rock, I'm in."

Despite his love of a good beat, Stuart remains true to his hillbilly heritage. "I know that everyone is not attached to the roots of country music as much as I am and that's okay, but there's a wonderful world of knowledge should anybody decide to check into it.

Stuart has been on a mission for years to make the newer country sound consistent with the sweeping tradition of country's past. "My simple message, the one thing I would say is as we head toward the 21st century, I love the trail we're blazing and everyone should spend a minute with the roots of it all."

Although he's dismayed to see "bubble gum country" songs shoot to the top of the charts, Stuart has seen first hand how receptive younger audiences are to traditional country music. "It amazes me that once you get their attention by whatever you've got on the radio, whatever got them into the arena, you can play as hard-core country as you want to out there, and they respond to it."

By Lisa Benavides

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