DIARY - 5 JULY 2005 - MARTY STUART
STUART A SURVIVOR
instrumentalist and singer-songwriter Marty Stuart is a true survivor.
Born John Marty Stuart in Philadelphia on September 30, 1958, the
singer made his first professional appearance at 13 with Carl and
Marty performed with gospel group The Sullivans at weekends and at
14 made his
Grand Ole Opry in an eight-year stint with Lester Flatt and The Nashville
When Flatt died in 1979 Stuart stayed in Nashville and worked sessions.
He also toured with Vassar Clements, Doc and Merle Watson and Bob
Dylan before joining Johnny Cash's band in 1980.
the Shel Silverstein tune Rough On The Living, first cut by Bobby
Bare and reprised by the Old Dogs.
Stuart became one of Cash's sons-in-law when he wed his daughter Cindy
in 1983 - they both toured here with Cash and Cowboy Jack Clement in 1981.
Marty toured with Cash for six years and Stuart released his debut solo
disc Busy Bee Cafe in 1982.
Earlier Stuart recordings With A Little Help From My Friends from
1978 were re-released in 1992 at the Slim Richey Sessions.
The singer - second husband of Cyndi - split with her in 1988 and after
releasing his self titled breakthrough album in 1986.
Marty also became the fourth husband of country singer Connie Smith, 17
years his senior, when they wed in 1997.
They live in the recently renovated former Hendersonville home of Roy
Orbison and widow Barbara.
Stuart eventually signed with Columbia, which released his self-titled
disc in 1986.
When things with Sony didn't work out, Stuart went to MCA where he enjoyed
his greatest success.
From 1990 to 1992, he scored top 10s with Hillbilly Rock, Little Things,
Tempted and his biggest hit, The Whiskey Ain't Workin', recorded
with soul mate Travis Tritt.
He had another hit with Tritt - This One's Gonna Hurt You (For a Long,
Long Time) and on his own with Burn Me Down.
also recorded an acclaimed but modest selling concept album The
Pilgrim in 1999.
Stuart based the story on an infamous hometown episode from his Mississippi
youth. A beautiful cheerleader unexpectedly marries a rough, troubled,
working-class guy. Later, as the relationship splinters, the woman
begins an affair with a guy at work, who has no idea she's married.
One day, her husband shows up at work, drunk and carrying a gun, and
finds them snuggling in a break room. After a few cross words, he
puts the gun to his head and shoots himself.
The woman's lover, angered at what she hid from him, leaves her and
the town behind.
He begins drinking excessively and ends up a homeless, destitute alcoholic.
decides to hitchhike to California, to visit his mother's grave before
killing himself. While there, he experiences a spiritual revelation about
love and the meaning of life.
He decides to return to Mississippi to seek out his former lover. They
reunite, move away, start a family, and live as happily as could be expected.
Reasons - one of the album's most powerful songs - reveals the husband's
tortured thoughts as he prepares to surprise his wife and take his own
"It was the perfect excuse to get drunk, as if lately I've needed
one," the song begins. "It was a perfect excuse to buy bullets
for the barrel of my favourite gun."
As the song continues, and as it becomes clear that the man intends to
commit suicide, certain lines stick out like a wound, such as "I
thought that I had loved you, I did the best that I could."
It's one of those rare songs that take a sympathetic look at a confused,
angered man unable to deal with his pain.
DUI DOUBLE DOSE
imitated art for Stuart in his colourful career.
But the singer, like many peers, fought the law and the law won when
busted for DUI in July, 2004.
Stuart spent two days in jail in Sumner County, Tennessee, after pleading
guilty to DUI.
Stuart's sentence of 11 months and 29 days was suspended, except for
the two days in jail.
He was also fined $350.
Stuart was arrested June 23 on the street in front of a McDonald's
restaurant in the Nashville suburb of Hendersonville.
In April 2002, Stuart was arrested and charged with operating under
the influence, but a judge threw out the charges.
with the law didn't derail Stuart's career.
the soundtrack for the movie All The Pretty Horses in 2001 and
has three new recording projects scheduled for release this year.
Stuart and his band The Fabulous Superlatives recorded a live concert
at the famed Ryman Auditorium on July 24, 2003.
He also made an 11-song gospel collection Souls' Chapel and Badlands -
a 14-song disc with John Carter Cash.
Stuart has also written six books, three of which are photography collections.
Dixie Chicks, George Strait, Wynonna, Tritt, Larry Cordle, Gary Allan,
Rick Trevino, John Anderson, Pam Tillis, Patty Loveless, Marty Brown,
Wade Hayes, Emmylou Harris, Jon Randall, Buck Owens, Linda Ronstadt, Clint
Black, Martina McBride. Joy Lynn White, Mark Collie, Jann Browne and many
other artists recorded his songs.
CD REVIEW 2004
MARTY, MERLE, CONNIE AND CASH CROPS
buy my wheat, who'll buy my corn/ to feed my babies when they're born/
seeds and dirt, a prayer for rain that I can use/ I work the land, I watch
the sky, I talk to God and wonder why/ but it's the only life I know,
these farmer's blues." Farmer's Blues - Marty Stuart-Connie Smith.
minstrel Marty Stuart enlisted in the roots country music army to fight
for his genre on radio and concert battlefield.
"I think it's like a soldier in the army," revealed Stuart 46
and fourth singing spouse of country purist Connie Smith - just 17 years
"You surrender your suit for a sabbatical. I think right now country
music needs all the true soldiers it can get. I must be becoming an old
curmudgeon. I think it's also okay to stand up for what you believe in.
Regardless if somebody believes in the country disco movement, they should
absolutely stand by their convictions and stand up."
Stuart's sabbatical, in the afterglow of his acclaimed concept album The
Pilgrim, included a brace of movies.
scored music for Daddy & Them, All the Pretty Horses and Yellow
Bird with Faye Dunaway.
"It's real evident to me from soundtrack work that the image
and the music have to line up. During my time on the farm in Mississippi,
I'd look at gardens and trees, basically nature.
Country things. Barns, silos, fields and cows, and when I'd listen
to country radio, it didn't always line up with what I was seeing.
I totally understand that we have more of the urban sounding music
these days. When I listen to this record it lines up with what I feel
Stuart also produced Johnny Cash tribute, Kindred Spirit and helmed
actor Billy Bob Thornton's debut disc Private Radio.
So it's no
surprise the child prodigy, who went on the road with the late Lester
Flatt at 13, tills the past on 13th disc Country Music (Sony) that
has a bonus DVD.
Stuart entrees with Rhodes-Hayes tune A Satisfied Mind - a hit
for Porter Wagoner in 1955.
He revamps former Boy Howdy hombre Jeffrey Steele's semi-spoken word Tip
Your Hat, eulogising Merle, Hank and Willie where Stuart sings, "tip
your hat to the teacher."
Haggard duets with Stuart on Farmer's Blues - a tune he wrote with singing
"It just seemed like country music marketing 101," says Stuart.
"If we tour, we should sing a song together. It was a song that Connie
and me wrote. That I think that is one of the finer things I've ever been
a part of. Of course, with Merle on it, it gives it another whole level
of credibility and interest."
cut this with his Fabulous Superlatives, and honours former father-in-law
Cash with his 40 year-old finale Walls Of A Prison.
The melody is the same as Streets of Laredo it's a song about
a prisoner determined to break out.
"This is my favourite Johnny Cash song," says Stuart, "it
was a happy accident. We had a session booked one night and it was
full of musicians. I didn't have anything else to record, and we had
more time on the clock. I said, 'let me play you this one.'
Stuart's five originals include George Jones-Clooney seduction romp
By George and hurting Fool For Love with Tom Douglas, Here
I Am with Rivers Rutherford and If You Want Me Around with
He also mines
the motherlode with the evocative biographical Music City parable Sundown
In Nashville and covers - Wishful Thinking by Mike Henderson
and Wally Wilson and Billy Hill oldie Too Much Month At The End Of
Social comment and stone country tunes are broken up with honky tonkers
akin to his 90's peak when he topped charts with Hillbilly Rock, Little
Things, Burn Me Down and a pair of duets with fellow reborn rebel
It started in 1982 when with debut Busy Bee Café on Sugar Hill,
a self titled disc on Columbia in 1986 and his MCA era from 1990.
Stuart boomeranged to Sony after O Brother Where Art Thou proved he was
ahead of his times despite not having a deal when it broke.
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