Yeah - second post of the day - but this is pretty heavy on my mind right now, so I want to record it...
This is a letter to my friends/family/fans - but it's also a letter of appreciation to Marty Stuart.
Let me start some time back... Vanessa and I were attending the Friday night jam at Halls every week a couple of years ago. We were playing and singing and visiting - just having a good time. My buddy James mentioned RFD-TV and the Marty Stuart Show. I told him we didn't have RFD. Well now I know what I was missing all this time!
When we changed our Dish Service the last time we gained RFD somehow and I set the show (along with Pop Goes the Country, Porter Wagner, Hee Haw, Larry's Country Diner and The Joey and Rory Show) to record on the DVR. I caught a few episodes here and there and thoroughly enjoyed them, but it wasn't until last night and tonight that it really REALLY hit home with me.
Again, we were playing bluegrass every week, then I moved from there to playing bass and singing at the dance in Halls. It's two step and line dancing, so it's a lot of traditional country music (the stuff I grew up on) and of course picking with the great Max Winchester was just icing on the cake. I gained a new respect for the old music and began writing songs as well. Next thing you know I'm going back and forth to Nashville, playing open mics here and there - having a great time and trying to break into professional songwriting.
About this time last year, I'm listening to a podcast and "Sundown in Nashville" comes on. I am floored! This song was so honest and true it was almost scary! I decided to do a little checking on Mister Stuart and I read about how he's "getting back to the roots" and "staying true to country music." I knew he was right, but I didn't know just how right he was.
As the months went on and I continued to write, I felt myself being pulled into the commercial aspect of it. No, I haven't sold a song yet, and it's partly because I continue to write what I feel and what I love. I've had "gatekeepers" in Nashville tell me things like, "no artist today would do that song" and "that's not country, that's Americana. You won't hear that on the radio." The more I heard these things the more I started taking it as a complement!
If you've read my latest email from ReverbNation, you know that my "resolution" for 2013 is to make as much music as I can and to connect with as many people as I can. And I don't mean to connect by writing a pop or hip hop song for the radio, but by writing from my heart and performing from my soul.
Fast forward to tonight... I get home from work (Vanessa is working a ball game at the middle school) and see that the next episode I'm ready for is number 101. It's a re-run from last March and it's all about Nashville Volume 1 - Tear the Woodpile Down - the CD from Marty Stuart that Sundown in Nashville is on. There are also several interviews and behind the scene shots from Marty and the cast talking about what they do and how they feel about it. When Marty talks about making a connection with the fans and "defending the music that he loves..." Well he's articulating what I've been feeling, and I applaud him.
I've always thought he was an excellent musician, but I have much more respect for him as an artist now. So much that I've added something to my bucket list... I already have it on my list to perform at Music City Roots. It's no secret that I love that show and what it stands for. I still want to perform on it, but now I want to perform on it with Marty and the Superlatives. I want to stand at the end of the show and be in the Loveless Jam with them.
Marty may not have the "legend" status that Hank, George, Johnny & Merle have, but he seems to love what he does and loves the music and loves carrying on the tradition. I don't know how he could be anything but a legend.