He owns and plays Pops Staples Tele, given to him by Mavis.
He owns and plays Lester Flatt's D-28.
He owns a whole lot of other Country memorabilia. Collects it. Curates it.
He recorded one of very few concept albums ever to come from a Nashville label.
He played mandolin for Lester Flatt.
He played all sorts of instruments for Johnny Cash.
He named his backing band with one of the best band names I've ever heard: The Fabulous Superlatives.
He can walk on stage with Bela Fleck and the Flecktones and hold his own.
I should be the hugest fan of Marty Stuart.
I'm a fan. Just not a huge one.
It's all on me. It's not fair to say "If you were this guy and not that guy, I'd be your biggest fan." As if he'd listen.
What distinguishes Alt-Twang from Nash-Twang? Comparing Gibson's Top Five to the "Never Call Me" Requirements, you don't see a lot of Mama, prison or modes of transportation. Maybe some getting drunk. Certainly heartbreak. Certainly nostalgia and disappointment. Not much Mama. And certainly, there's nobody singing about Alt-Country or Alt-Country Girls. And if anyone in an Alt-Country song has ever been triumphantly drunk, I don't recall it.
I can think of only one parental reference in Alt Country: The Gear Daddies' "Statue of Jesus"
Lord knows how hard I try but I just don't think I fitIn Marty's songs, the Dads give helpful and good advice.
Daddy always said everything I touch, it turns to shit
Uncle Dave Macon said that Earl Scruggs wasn't a damn bit funny. And neither is Alt Country. Marty's an entertainer, not an artist. He'll make you cry, he'll make you dance, and he'll make you laugh. He's a Country guy, and Country includes Minnie Pearl and Larry the Cable Guy. It ain't just music, it's entertainment. I'm used to thinking of Alt Country as a heresy of Rock rather than one of Country, and I'm not used to acts like that. There's only one Alt Country song I've heard on the radio. "Radar Gun" by the Bottle Rockets. If you don't recall, it's a song about a local cop on a quest to fund local government via speeding tickets. It's a rocker, but it's also pretty much a novelty song, the second-closest I've heard an No Depression artist writing a joke song. The closest is "Idiot's Revenge", which couldn't get on radio for one specific word, which I will not repeat here.
(As an aside, I've been thinking. You don't get songs in Rock defending the institutions and history of Rock. Well, outside of Bob Seger. There's never be a "Murder on Music Row" about Rock music, saying someone's killed it. Is it because Rock is so geographically diverse? So musically diverse? So balkanized? And is "Murder", as I'm leaning right now, a terrific song but a bogus thesis?)
So, here I am, trying to learn to digest real Country and not infect it with my pretensions. And listening to him and the Staples Singers sing "The Weight".