Marty Sturat To Release First Gospel Record In August

This appeared in The Christian Post - July 18, 2005

Country music superstar Marty Stuart will be releasing his first gospel album Souls’ Chapel on August 30th. Recorded in Hendersonville, Tennessee at Stuart’s home, Souls’ Chapel, “hews purely, passionately, and closely to what Stuart terms Delta Gospel,” according to a press release.

“You know what this record sounds like to me?” Stuart asks. “It sounds like everything I heard on the radio as a kid growing up in Mississippi.”

Apart from listening to the radio, Stuart found himself in the midst of the “Delta Gospel” scene when he began playing mandolin for bluegrass band the Sullivan Family Singers at the age of 12.

“We played Pentecostal churches, camp meetings, bluegrass festivals and George Wallace campaign rallies all throughout the South that summer,” reminisces Stuart. “It was baptism by fire into a wonderfully archaic brand of church-house rock and roll. I always felt the presence of the truth inside that music.”

Producer of Johnny Cash’s 1983 gospel album Believe In Him, Stuart was almost unable to finish his latest foray into the gospel scene after being arrested for drunk-driving.

“The truth is, the creative process of this record was stalled when I got arrested and sent to jail for DUI, and it wasn’t the first time it had ever happened to me,” admits Stuart. “The press was all over it. I was so humiliated. I also felt powerless not being able to live out the message of what I was singing about here. In the midst of my personal failure, I lost sight of any faith or hope.”

Things brightened for Marty almost immediately, however, as the day after he was released from jail, he received a special gift of encouragement from gospel legends Mavis and Yvonne Staples.

“We were playing a show in Chicago the day after I got out jail,” explains Stuart. “Mavis and Yvonne Staples came to the concert that night. Without them knowing what had happened at all, they brought and gave me Pops Staples’ guitar. It was the greatest confirmation I’d every had to fight on. It was like being handed the Excalibur sword. It was like being knighted with an instrument of light.”

“And,” says Marty, “it gave me the inspiration to go on, get my life back on track, and make this record.”

Souls’ Chapel features a collection of eleven songs, both old and new, penned by legends such as Pops Staples, Albert E. Brumley, Steve Cropper, William Bell, as well as Stuart himself.

Musicians featured on the album include Stuart’s band the Fabulous Superlatives –drummer Harry Stinson, bassist Brian Glenn, and guitarist Kenny Vaughn- joined by a handful of other musicians, such as drummer Chad Cromwell, keyboardist-producer Barry Beckett, and Mavis Staples, who sings with Stuart on the climactic song “Move Along Train.”

“I called Mavis and I said, ‘Mavis, I gotta have you on this one,’” Stuart says.

Souls’ Chapel will be the first release on Marty’s new Superlatone Records imprint with Universal South, a label created specifically to house Stuart’s music.

By Justin Camacho

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