Saturday, December 24, 2005


UP FRONT NEWS January 8, 2006
Published by Tom Weiss
Editorial Advisor, Willard Whittingham

“The paper that can’t be bought and can’t be sold.”

While the name and music of Johnny Cash is of course well known throughout much of the world, Marty Stuart, Cash’s former lead guitarist (and former son-in-law) remains almost unknown in many places, most conspicuously in and around New York City. That lack of knowledge of one of the world’s most accomplished and original musicians is being successfully overcome in UP FRONT News, in which pages I’ve written often about Mr. Stuart.

Since he all-too-rarely performs in the N.Y.C. area, I’ve only seen him once in live performance, in March of 1993 when he gave a memorable (to me, at least) concert at the Westbury Music Fair on Long Island. On that night, since Mr. Stuart, after taking the stage with his band, waited for some moments to make contact with his audience, I used the opportunity to approach him directly on the no-barriers stage to see “hello” and give him an article I had written about him. He took it, placed it in his pocket, and said “thank you.” The next two or so hours were great, with my recollection the strongest about his rendition of the haunted and haunting rock and roll ballad, “The Veil.”

Stuart’s literally brought rock and roll electricity to the poetry and music of Johnny Cash. He’s been singing with his own bands, including the Rock and Roll Cowboys and the Fabulous Superlatives, for several years.I am one of those who believes that, aside from his formidable talents as a singer and songwriter, he is one of the great string players of all time. His current albums are the all-gospel Souls’ Chapel and, apparently getting quite political, “Badlands” about the Lakota Native American uprisings in South Dakota.

Marty Stuart is booked to perform at B.B. King’s on Sunday, January 22, 2006 at 7:30 P.M. along with Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder.
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