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An Evening With Marty Stuart

With legends like George Jones, Johnny Cash and Merle Haggard all passed on, country music purists often echo the question Jones himself asked: "Who's going to fill their shoes?" The answer, in part, is Marty Stuart. While he's too gracious to admit it himself, the GRAMMY-winning singer, songwriter and musician is living, breathing country-music history. He's played alongside the masters, from Cash to Lester Flatt, who discovered him; been a worldwide ambassador for Nashville, Bakersfield and points in between; and safeguarded country's most valuable traditions and physical artifacts. But most importantly, Stuart continues to record and release keenly relevant music, records that honor country's rich legacy while advancing it into the future. Way Out West (due March 10 on Superlatone Records), his 18th studio album, hits both of those marks. Produced by Mike Campbell (of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers), the album is a cinematic tour-de-force, an exhilarating musical journey through the California desert that solidifies Stuart as a truly visionary artist. Opening with a Native American prayer, a nod to Stuart's affinity for the indigenous people, particularly the Lakota, Way Out West transports the listener to the lonely but magical American West. It is, in its own way, musical peyote. Growing up in Philadelphia, Mississippi, Stuart was taken by the mystique of the Golden State: the culture, the movies and especially the music. As such, the album could only be recorded there, and Stuart, with his longtime backing band the Fabulous Superlatives — made up of guitarist Kenny Vaughan, drummer Harry Stinson and new member, bassist Chris Scruggs — recorded half of the album at Capitol Records and the rest at Campbell's M.C. Studio, a gritty space with a vibe all its own. The result: a 15-song collection of newly written originals, instrumentals and rare covers like the Benny Goodman-penned "Air Mail Special," and "Lost on the Desert," once recorded by Cash. Ahead of the album's release, the GRAMMY Museum welcomes Marty Stuart to the Clive Davis Theater for an intimate discussion on his forthcoming California-inspired album and special performance, hosted by Scott Goldman, Vice President of the GRAMMY Foundation and MusiCares.

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