with special guest KELSEY WALDON
18+ SHOW – please review our minor policy under F.A.Q.
Presented by First Avenue
Five time GRAMMY-winner Marty Stuart will release Way Out West, his 18th studio album, on March 10 on Superlatone. The album was conceived as a love letter by one of Country music’s living legends, whom has played with everyone from Cash to Lester Flatt, to the lonely but magical American West, specifically the promised land of California. “If you go and sit by yourself in the middle of the Mojave Desert at sundown and you’re still the same person the next morning when the sun comes up, I’d be greatly surprised,” says Stuart. “It is that spirit world of the West that enchants me.”
Produced by Mike Campbell (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers), and featuring the Fabulous Superlatives –guitarist Kenny Vaughan, drummer Harry Stinson and new member, bassist Chris Scruggs– Marty’s longtime band, which NPR Music said could “melt your heart with four-part harmonies, rock your bones with honky tonk, and dazzle you with picking worthy of their name,” Way Out West is a cinematic tour-de-force. Listeners can feel the warmth of those desert winds over the album’s 15 tracks, a 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 Johnny Cash. “I asked Johnny about that song when I was in his band,” says Stuart, “and he said the only thing he remembered about it was changing some words. Way Out West just as easily could have been titled ‘Lost on the Desert’.”
Growing up in Philadelphia, Mississippi, Stuart was taken by the mystique of the Golden State: the culture, the movies and especially the music. “Everything that came out of California captivated my kid mind in Mississippi,” says Stuart. As such, the album could only be recorded in California, and Way Out West was tracked between the famed Capitol Records, which birthed iconic albums like the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds and the country-rock of Glen Campbell’s Wichita Lineman, and producer Mike Campbell’s M.C. Studio, where much of the early Heartbreakers music was recorded. Said Campbell about producing Stuart’s new record: “Working with Marty and the Superlatives was a blast, and it was fast! My role was easy, just set up the sound and let them play. Great guitars, great grooves, great vocals, they just have it all. This record is one of my favorite things I have ever been involved with.”
The new album, with its atmospheric production and primal rock & roll energy, evokes classics like Marty Robbins’ Gunfighter Ballads and Trail Songs and Cash’s The Fabulous Johnny Cash, one of the first albums Stuart ever owned. While other artists chased popular trends in the name of radio play, Stuart formed complete bodies of work. Way Out West is just the latest embodiment of that creative mission.
Marty Stuart is a five time GRAMMY-winner, platinum recording artist, Lifetime Achievement Award recipient from the Americana Music Association, Grand Ole Opry star, country music archivist, photographer, musician, and songwriter. Since starting out singing gospel as a child, Stuart has spent over four decades celebrating American roots music. His teenage years on tour with bluegrass legend Lester Flatt in the ’70s were followed by six years in Johnny Cash’s band in the ’80s, and a chart-topping tenure as a solo artist in the ’90s. Stuart hosts a Late Night Jam at The Ryman, a yearly tradition which kicks off the CMA Music Festival, with recent guests including Dolly Parton, Jerry Lee Lewis, Neko Case, Eric Church, Chris Stapleton, Maren Morris, Dan Auerbach and many more.