Country stalwart Marty Stuart knew he needed a special song - well, a few of them - for "Country Music" (Columbia), his first release since 1999's lauded The Pilgrim. But when Merle Haggard agreed to sing with him on one track, Stuart was particularly under the gun to find a stand-out. As he notes, "It's a tall order to find a new country song to impress Merle Haggard. It's like showing Mount Rushmore your rock collection."
The answer, however, came from Stuart's wife and fellow country singer, Connie Smith. The couple had written "Farmer's Blues" to be on her next album, but when the Haggard hook-up transpired, she offered it to her husband. It was a wonderful gift, Stuart says.
By Gary Graff