Country Music Voyage

Best-selling artists take to the stage

This appeared in the Oshkosh Northwestern - June 27, 2004

The party always is a little more hearty once Country USA reaches its Saturday lineup.

The work week finally passed and local country music fans didn't have to worry about a work day to follow. Beer flowed, guitars rang and many stepped into the gates for the first time.

Before his performance, Josh Turner and his wife enjoyed a stage-side view of Marty Stuart's set.

"He's one of the last great country artists left," Turner said of Stuart.

Dressed in all black, Stuart provided one of the days most memorable songs by paying tribute to the original man in black -- Johnny Cash.

"I want to do this for my old buddy," Stuart said as he explained the two men were neighbors and shared a fruit tree orchard where an old crow would hang out.

In a style reminiscent of Cash, Stuart performed his newly penned song "Dark Bird" about Cash in which the poetic twist has the crow turning into a peaceful dove.

"That's good country," said Dave Hannerman of Verona. "He's a classic performer. Just plain fun to listen to."

By Jim Collar and Jeff Potts

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