Wake Up And Smell The Chorizo!

This appeared in a blog West of the West - October 11, 2009

Marty Stuart is a thoughtful, driven man. Make no mistake he has talent down to the bone, but he knows talent will only get you so far and Marty Stuart wants everything. He wants your soul baby.

Driven? Consider the year 1970 and a 11-year-old Marty asking his mom to buy him a bright yellow shirt for the Choctaw Fair. Why you ask? Well it seems Connie Smith (29 years old and married at the time) is performing there and he wants to make sure she notices him. The young man is not only smitten, he has a plan. In the car on the way home from the Fair, he tells his mother “I’m going to marry Connie Smith one day.” It took him 27 years, but that’s exactly what he did.

Being a thoughtful man, Mr. Stuart concedes that even Jesus needed helpers so he has assembled an elite band of Nashville heartbreakers and life takers to assist him in spreading the Hillbilly Hoodoo Gospel. Seperately they are; “Cousin Kenny” Vaughn on guitars, “Handsome Harry Stinson” on drums and “The Apostle Paul” Martin on Fender Precision Bass. Together they are The Fabulous Superlatives.

Mr. Stuart takes into account the importance of iconography and ritual as a means of fascilitating worship and here he casts a broad net. The very first item placed on the stage is nothing less than Clarence White’s fabled Telecaster. Just standing there dead silent in the middle of the stage, it calls the faithfull in like a bell. Later, Mr. Stuart will also haul out Bill Monroe’s old Gibson Mandolin and flail away on it lake it was a $300 made-in-Korea replica. There is power in the old wood.

Obviously well versed in the study of physics and human anatomy, he knows exactly the…tenderizing effect two Telecasters and three Twin Reverb amplifiers can impart on your heart and other internal organs. And last Saturday night up in Golden Gate park we got tenderized good. Marty and his Fabulous Superlatives took the stage and straight away went into “Branded” followed immediately by a twangy instumental. Marty proweld the stage looking intenely into the eyes of the audience. I could almost hear him thinking “are they ready yet?” Almost probably. The band mugged it up in the finest Southern Gospel tradition, but there was something else going on here, someting daker and heavier. Then it hit me, these guys dressed in all black are like Blue Öyster Cult for Baptists.

As “La Tingo Tango” reached it’s reverb drenched conclusion Marty stepped into the pulpit and good naturedly demanded “Everbody say Howdy!” We respond as one with our best Minnie Pearl how-deeeeeeeeeeeeee! Marty bows with a flourish, yeah we were ready.

On your feet or on your knees pilgrims!

By Reno Sepulved

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