That walking encyclopedia of country music Marty Stuart, and our vote for Male Lifetime Achievement in Hair, has released a bonus track from the Studio B Sessions (Ghost Train, released this past summer). For some reason “Lonesome Whistle Blues” didn’t make the final album, but we’ve got it for you here.
In other news, a short documentary on Marty Stuart will be released in 2011. Details will be coming very soon, but in the meantime you can watch a quick preview:
“The longer you ride in Marty Stuart’s Ghost Train, the more its speed and energy hits you like the wind in your face.” – Fresh Air, NPR
“Ghost Train is near-perfect country”- New York Post
“Far from a sentimental look back or a retro-country album, this is a modern-day icon adding to an already impressive musical structure atop the foundation of past masters.” – Awaiting the Flood
Now sit back and read what else we had to say about Ghost Train back in August.
Recorded at the legendary RCA Studio B in Nashville where, at the tender age of 13, he played mandolin and recorded with Lester Flatt, Ghost Train is Stuart’s return to hard-hitting country music. Far from a sentimental look back or a retro-country album, this is a modern-day icon adding to an already impressive musical structure atop the foundation of past masters.
Stuart is well known as a walking encyclopedia of country music’s history, and on Ghost Train he displays his supreme talent in all styles, and his love for this music.
There’s the honky tonk twang of “Little Heartbreaker (The Likes of You)” co-written with the amazing and legendary pedal steel guitarist Ralph Mooney, and electric guitar virtuosity on the instrumental “Hummingbyrd” (Stuart’s guitar was once owned by former Byrd Charlie White), a whipsmart bluegrass mandolin on “Mississippi Railroad Blues” and a heartfelt duet with his wife Connie Smith on “A World Without You.”
Other gems are the Ray Price classic “Crazy Arms” (also co-written by Mooney, who struts his pedal steel skills), “Porter Wagoner’s Grave” (he and the late Wagon Master were close friends), and “Hangman”, which Stuart wrote with Johnny Cash just four days before Cash died.
“I’m always on the prowl for the kinds of recordings that can inspire and potentially make a difference,” Stuart says. “What inspires me now, is traditional country music. It’s the music I most cherish, the culture in which I was raised. It’s the bedrock upon which the empire of country music is built, the empowering force that provides this genre with lasting credibility. It’s beyond trends and it’s timeless. With all that being said, I found traditional country music to be on the verge of extinction. It’s too precious to let slip away. I wanted to attempt to write a new chapter.”
Marty Stuart is just the man to write this new chapter. He penned over four pages in the CD’s liner notes about his experience on a dark and deserted train depot near his boyhood home in Philadelphia, Mississippi back in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast just to the south. His account of seeing his life flash before his eyes will have the hair standing up on the back of your neck. “Just like postcards from the depths of my soul: love, regret, whiskey, cheating, pills, salvation, redemption, divorce, failure, success, rhinestone suits, Cadillacs, Fender telecasters, Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs, the Grand Ole Opry, Folsom Prison, heartaches, Connie Smith, Ira Hayes, my mama, my daddy, my sister, the Staple Singers, Jesus Christ, the summer of 1964 . . . cotton and squash on top of Johnny Cash’s casket, Merle Haggard’s phone number . . . .”
Ghost Train is quite a ride indeed.