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Marty Stuart Comes Full Circle on ‘Ghost Train’

Tim Mosenfelder, Getty Images

Marty Stuart is experiencing a few deja vu moments with his new album ‘Ghost Train,” due out the end of the month. First of all, Marty returns to Sugar Hill Records with this album, a label that released his first solo album 27 years ago. Secondly, Marty recorded the new album at famed Studio B in Nashville, which is now more of a tourist stop in conjunction with the Country Music Hall of Fame than it is a recording studio. Studio B was the very first place he recorded music after moving to Nashville.

The tunes on the new album represent an eclectic collection, from the last song Johnny Cash had a hand in writing, ‘The Hangman,’ to a rather unique story written by Marty titled ‘Porter Wagoner’s Grave.’ In between some new tunes, there a few familiar ones, with brilliant musicianship throughout.

Among those offerings is a song titled ‘Branded,’ which Marty is offering free for Boot readers to download. To get the free MP3, just right click on the link below and choose either ‘Save Target As’ or ‘Save Link As.’

“I started writing this song one afternoon as I was getting ready to go to the Grand Ole Opry. I got out of the shower three times to keep writing down lines,” Marty tells The Boot of ‘Branded. “When I walked into the dressing room at the Opry, the first person I saw was (band member) Kenny Vaughan and I said ‘Come here, I’ve got us a song,’ and started playing it.

“Kenny just jumped right in and started playing it with me. The way we work together is like a tapestry, I know what he’s going to play and he knows what I’m about to play and we stay out of each other’s way. It’s a dance with Kenny. And Ralph Mooney’s drone on the steel guitar is hypnotic. Branded. That’s what it’s like when you’re out on the lamb … I’ve been there and it’s cold.”

The country historian and traditionalist is no longer ‘Branded.’ He’s found his place in music and it’s right in the middle of where he started out back in 1972 with Lester Flatt’s band. From his earlier years with bluegrass/gospel band The Sullivans, to the coming years with Johnny Cash, Marty picked up all the nuances of the music he was playing and incorporated it into his own style of playing, performing and writing.

“I have moved through a series of roots recordings in the past few years while working my way back home … Home being traditional country music,” affirms the singer. “The new album, ‘Ghost Train,’ is the reflection of the lasting power of a genre and a culture in which I grew up in and love very much. Personally, this is a landmark project. To stand alongside of (his band) the Fabulous Superlatives and some of country music’s most notable musicians in a room where so much of country music’s legacy was forged is beyond words. This project represents a new chapter of life for me, the Superlatives, Studio B and traditional country music. I couldn’t ask for more.”

‘Ghost Train (The Studio B Sessions)’ is Marty’s 14th studio album. It will be in stores on August 24.

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