Paleo Retiree writes:
I’m pretty sure I’d never heard of Marty Stuart until very recently, but in the last month I’ve become a huge fan.
Stuart is a country-western singer/songwriter/performer/photographer in the keeper-of-the-flame mode, and I think he’s terrific. He makes recordings, hosts a TV show, takes photos and does a generally great job of promoting traditional country-music entertainment values: soul, down-home unpretentiousness, courtliness ‘n’ congeniality. Though all the elements and trappings are lovingly in place — the cornpone humor, the hollers and whoops, the storytelling and rhymes, the familiar bundle of sounds (chicken scratches, twangs, close harmonies, etc), the glittering outfits, the themes (home, trains, temptation) — there’s nothing studied, meta or po-mo about his approach. Country music is a performance form to be respected and enjoyed, not mocked or dealt with ironically. His work is all about authenticity in the feelings and the experience — an early wife of Stuart’s was one of Johnny Cash’s daughters, and his current wife is the legendary Connie Smith, and if that ain’t country … — and I find it hard to resist the exuberant, un-slick, bar-band/dance-floor, honky-tonk/gospel pleasures he and his fantastic band The Fabulous Superlatives (Kenny Vaughan, Harry Stinson and Paul Martin) regularly deliver.
The spirits and echoes of Hank, Buddy, Porter, Buck, Merle, Johnny and early Elvis are never far away, but Marty and the boys have a sizable and distinctive contribution of their own to make. I’d love to see them live.
Here’s a little taste of their work:
- On my other blog I wrote about a couple of other great country-music performers, Delbert McClinton and Townes Van Zandt.
- I had a good time assembling — dare I say curating? — this playlist of highlights from Marty’s show. Just because I was in the mood, I also threw in some tracks by Patty Loveless, a Nashville songbird I’ve been enjoying recently, as well as a few numbers by a smokin’ small band led by Fabulous Superlative Kenny Vaughan. Be warned: If you make some claims to playing guitar yourself, abandon them now.
- Marty Stuart’s website. Check out the band’s concert schedule.