Longtime country sensation Marty Stuart knows his way around a stage. With a history that includes playing Pentecostal revivals, touring with Johnny Cash, co-writing with Travis Tritt and headlining his own band, Stuart understands the sacrifices and showmanship that make a performer more than a musician: Impromptu solos. Rollicking renditions of old standards. Song transitions as smooth as oiled silk. Holders of Marty Stuart tickets can be sure of one thing: They'll have the opportunity to see a multi-instrumental talent that's been burnished until it positively shines.
Stuart's musical career began when he was young. He taught himself guitar and mandolin while still in single digits, and at age 12, he became a professional musician, touring with the bluegrass-tinged gospel band The Sullivan Family. Though his involvement with the group only lasted for a single summer, it set the course for the rest of his life. He dropped out of school and joined Lester Flatt's bluegrass act, which landed him an appearance on the musical-comedy television show "Hee Haw." Touring with Flatt introduced him to numerous country music luminaries, and not long after Flatt passed away in 1979, Stuart joined Johnny Cash's backing band. He would perform with the Man in Black until 1985.
In the mid-80s, Stuart started to shift his musical style from old-time country to rockabilly, amplifying the genre's raucous, rowdy flair with striking on-stage costumes. The change paid off. His 1986 self-titled album cracked the Top 40 on the country music charts. The single "Arlene" reached No. 19, and four years later, Hillbilly Rock would also make it into the Top 20, going gold in both the United States and Canada. The title track also became a Top-10 hit, and three other songs from the album charted well both domestically and internationally.
More mainstream success followed when Stuart co-wrote "The Whiskey Ain't Workin'" with Travis Tritt, which won him a Grammy for Best Country Collaboration in 1992. Stuart continued to collaborate with country's best and brightest during the 90s, working with Tritt a second time, as well as making music with Vince Gill and Chet Atkins. However, he also started to broaden his artistic repertoire. He began to produce albums for other musicians, wrote soundtracks for Hollywood films such as the Steven Seagal vehicle "Fire Down Below" and the Billy Bob Thornton-directed "All the Pretty Horses," and provided a voice-over for an animated version of "Tom Sawyer."
Stuart began a private museum of country-music memorabilia and arranged to have the Center for Southern Culture Studies at the University of Mississippi in Oxford house it. He helmed "The Marty Stuart Show" in 2008, a program dedicated to classical-country performances. In 2017, he released Way Out West, which was produced by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' guitarist Mike Campbell.
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