Marty Stuart Preserves Country in New Music and Photos
by Larry Rohter
photo by Jacob Blickenstaff for The New York Times
When the country music singer Marty Stuart first went on the road, at 13 with Lester Flatt’s bluegrass band, he took with him not only a mandolin and a guitar, but also a camera. Even at that tender age, he was intent on documenting the genre’s rich history and heritage.
That was in 1972, but Mr. Stuart is nothing if not consistent. This week he released a two-disc set, “Saturday Night/Sunday Morning,” dedicated, as its title suggests, to distinct but intertwining strands of country tradition: the profane and the sacred, the honky-tonk and the church.
The records are coming out shortly after the publication of “American Ballads,” a book of Mr. Stuart’s photographs of country music stars, their fans and his travels over the years. A selection of 50 of those images is also being exhibited at the Frist Center for the Visual Arts in Nashville, which in the past has also shown artifacts from Mr. Stuart’svast collection, a trove that includes handwritten lyrics by Hank Williams, a George Jones guitar and costumes worn by Porter Wagoner, Johnny Cash and Patsy Cline.
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