Donate: Marty Stuart's Congress Of Country Music






Today, Marty Stuart shares “Matches,” the seventh single off Songs I Sing In The Dark a collection of songs recorded acoustically at Marty's former home outside of Nashville. The song, originally written Charlie Craig and Keith Stegall was recorded by Stuart for his 1987 album Let There Be Country. Watch the video for “Matches" here.

Stuart shares about the song:

The summer of 1987 stands as one of the worst times of my life.  I was going through a D-I-V-O-R-C-E, sleeping on the floor of Cowboy Jack Clement’s studio after recording sessions, scrounging by day-to-day, avoiding mirrors that told the truth as to the shape I was in, trying to find the getting on place to becoming a country and western singing star, all the while making a record for Columbia entitled Let There Be Country that I knew was doomed from the start.

There’s an old Johnny Paycheck song that says “If I’m gonna sink, I might as well go to the bottom.”  Let There be Country was recorded in Jack Clement’s attic, but his microphones revealed that I was giving it everything I had, but my heart and soul were swinging at shadows from the very bottom of the barrel. In retrospect, I regard that project as a keepsake, a testament to survival.  The record had its moments. Ralph Mooney played steel guitar on a couple of songs.  Emmylou Harris sang “Beyond the Great Divide” with me, J.D. Sumner sang bass on “Get Down on Your Knees and Pray.”  Warren Haynes played his slide guitar on an old fiddle tune of my Grandpa Levi Stuart’s known as “Old Hat”.  A pre-Grammy award winning David R. (Ferg) Ferguson served as engineer, good pal, and co-producer of all the festivities.  Merle Haggard, Harlan Howard, and Max D. Barnes gave me good songs but the truth is, I just wasn’t ready yet.  I did however catch a glimpse of the musical life I now live while surviving and making Let There Be Country.  The takeaway from that collection of tunes that was absolutely right was a Charlie Craig/Keith Stegall song called “Matches.”  They wrapped their clever words in a dronelike vibe and dropped the song off from the sly side of town.  Recording “Matches” became the highlight of my summer.  In the wake of Ferg scoring a classic sound on my telecaster, we experienced a phantom moment. A feeling waltzed into the room, stayed a few minutes while I played the guitar part and then left as quickly as it came.  I played the part one time and could not have played it again if my life depended on it.  As a matter of fact, I tried. I put my guitar down, stepped up to the microphone, sang the song one time and we declared it a victory. At the end of the night, Ferg and I had shared the ever elusive high of catching lightning in a bottle and then converting it into a record that was worthy of a thousand listens at Titanic volume that was not intended for the faint of heart.  I was proud of “Matches.”  It’s a song that I still love and often perform with the Fabulous Superlatives.  And, just like the Superlatives, the song has a world class cool factor that accompanies it wherever it goes.  The tune never fails.  I consider it an old friend and I wanted to bring it along for the ride on this Songs I Song in the Dark series.

With that being said…the moral of the story is, hard times will pass, cherish the magic moments, keep a good sounding telecaster close by at all times, and most importantly, you won’t get burned playing with matches if you’ll do it in the key of E major.

Marty Stuart will share a new song from the album a month, alongside a personal statement about each song’s importance, both personally and in the context of country music. Stuart said of his new collection, “The title tells the story. I have a long line of songs that range from obscure, originals, to favorites from various musical worlds that I often sing to myself when I’m alone. Until recently, I had never formally made a list of all the titles.  When I did, I saw in those titles so many great songs that need to be remembered and passed down.  There was a mighty congregation of names of profound songwriters whose presence and lyrics are to be cherished.  And, looking into those songs I could hear the music of those brilliant musicians, arrangers, and singers who brought those tunes to life, and gave the world reason to love them.  In the wake of these revelations, I was inspired to finally go to work on the idea of Songs I Sing in the Dark.”

Marty Stuart will be on the road in 2021. Full tour dates below and tickets are available here.

Recently, The Country Music Association announced the induction of Marty Stuart into the Country Music Hall of Fame’s class of 2020 in the Modern Era Artist category. Stuart is inducted alongside Dean Dillon (Songwriter Category) and Hank Williams Jr. (Veterans Era Artist). “It is the ultimate honor in Country Music,” says Stuart. “I’m so honored to be included in this class and I’m honored to be included alongside Hank Jr. and Dean Dillon. I love those people. To be officially inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame is beyond words. I’m usually not at a loss for words.” Details regarding a formal induction ceremony for Dillon, Stuart and Williams will be released as information is available. Full information about the class of 2020 inductees is available on the CMA site.

Stuart is currently raising funds and awareness for The Marty Stuart Congress of Country Music (MSCCM) in Philadelphia, Mississippi which will celebrate the rich cultural heritage of country music through live musical performance and educational programming. This tribute to the culture and rural ethics of America will be presented in a world-class country music museum and performing arts center. Marty Stuart has assembled a collection that spans over 20,000 pieces to tell a rich, emotional, and personal story of the lives of our common heritage. The $30 million project will create a 50,000+ square foot campus featuring the historic and recently renovated Ellis Theater, a newly constructed museum, classrooms, a community hall, meeting and event space, and a rooftop performance venue. MSCCM will embrace the roots of country music in its educational curriculum and programming. Changing displays will include internationally travelled artifacts and memorabilia, photography, outsider/folk art and Native American crafts. These art forms represent country music’s history and foreshadow its future. Musical programming will feature both legendary stars and the emerging artists of tomorrow.

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. 

Marty Stuart Tour Dates
Wed 29 September     The Fremont Theater                          San Luis Obispo, CA
Thu 30 September      Sunset Center                                     Carmel, CA

Sat 2 October              Rialto Theatre                                     Tucson, AZ

Sun 3 October             Lensic Performing Arts Center            Santa Fe, NM

Mon 4 October           Albuquerque Journal Theatre            Albuquerque, NM

Fri 15 October             Narrows Center For The Arts              Fall River, MA

Sat 16 October            Stone Mountain Arts Center              Brownfield, ME

Sun 17 October           Bethel Woods Center For The Arts     Bethel, NY

Wed 20 October         The Waiting Room                              Omaha, NE

Thu 21 October           The Blue Note                                     Columbia, MO

Fri 22 October             Sheldon Concert Hall                          St Louis, MO

Sat 23 October            Englert Theatre                                   Iowa City, IA

Sun 24 October           Ordway Concert Hall                          St. Paul, MN

Thu 28 October           Gateway City Arts                               Holyoke, MA

Fri 29 October             Center For The Arts Of Homer           Homer, NY

Sat 30 October            Penn's Peak                                         Jim Thorpe, PA

Thu 4 November         Kenneth & Ramona Cherry Theater   Columbia, TN

Sat 6 November          Dixie Carter Performing Arts Center  Huntingdon, TN

Thu 11 November       Florida Theatre                                   Jacksonville, FL

Thu 18 November       Victory Theatre                                   Evansville, IN

Fri 19 November         Blue Gate Performing Arts Center      Shipshewana, IN

Sat 20 November        Stoughton Opera House                     Stoughton, WI

Fri 17 December         Walker Theatre                                   Chattanooga, TN

Sat 18 December        Bijou Theatre                                      Knoxville, TN

Sat 15 January             Gary & Laura Maurer Concert Hall     Chicago, IL


Marty Stuart on the web:
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For more information, please contact Mary Moyer ( or Emilio Herce ( at Q Prime 212.302.9790.