Addicted To Vinyl Musical thoughts from the open road, with headphones on


Now That’s Country!

Last night, my dad and I went to The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for an evening of question and answer with country singer-songwriter Marty Stuart.

In the 90s, Marty made one of my favorite country records This One's Gonna Hurt You, an album that came across my desk as a promo while working at a record store in high school. That CD remained one of my favorite albums through the years, but it wasn't until a few years ago that I started to learn more about who Marty Stuart was, and where he came from.

Naturally, I jumped at the chance to spend an evening with Stuart, in town as part of the ongoing Rock Hall series "From Songwriters to Soundmen." The appearance was tied in with the current Rock Hall Sparkle & Twang exhibit of Stuart's immense collection, the result of many years of work dedicated to the collection and preservation of country music's colorful culture and artifacts.

It was an unexpected treat to see a selection of guitars and an amplifier on stage, which obviously meant that Stuart would be performing in addition to discussing his career. As Stuart strummed the opening notes of "Now That's Country" off This One's Gonna Hurt You, it was clear that I was in for a good evening. Hell, not only did he play a song from my favorite album, he pretty much picked my favorite song off of the of 'em, anyway!

Stuart mixed songs and discussion in an evening's worth of entertainment that ran a little bit over two hours in length. The discussion was often humorous with an audience member asking Stuart the obvious question of how cool his parents were, to let him go on the road with bluegrass pioneer Lester Flatt at the age of 13. Stuart agreed that his parents were unquestionably cool, but noted that they probably wouldn't have let him go if it had been Ozzy Osbourne.

Of his time as a member of Johnny Cash's band in the 80s, Stuart called the period Johnny's "preparation decade" for the "victory lap" that was Cash's career in the 90s, and noted that during the band's European tours during that time, he could see the beginnings of the second wave of popularity for Cash that would eventually surge worldwide.

The Rock Hall takes a lot of flak, and sometimes deservedly so, but the "Songwriters to Soundmen" series continues to be one of the coolest things you can do in Cleveland for FREE.

You can sign up here for the Rock Hall's e-newsletter that will keep you in tune with events that are coming to the museum. In the past year, I've attended similar events with former MTV guy Matt Pinfield, Lynyrd Skynyrd, legendary Monterey Pop organizer Lou Adler, and Helmet mainman Page Hamilton, to name a few - all for free. Each evening is always a great night of musical education, and also your chance to bump elbows with some legendary musical talent.

Looking for something cool to do in Cleveland? There ya go. By the way, the next exhibit opens in January, a tribute to the 50th anniversary of Motown. Dig it.

Johnny Cash and Marty Stuart - Doing My Time

Relevant Links:

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum

Marty Stuart's official website

  • Brian

    Man, I am bummed I missed that! Looks like you and your pops had an awesome time!

    I need to get to the Rock Hall soon, I was even given free tickets!

  • Swapmeet Louie

    I always dug his song “Tempted.” Thanks for reminding me of him… I’m actually LISTENING to “Tempted” right now!

    I love his reply to how cool his parents were! Thanks for the recap!

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