Marty Stuart Announces New Cosmic Country Album “Altitude”
There may not be any other artist in the last decade or more who has more actively participated in the effort to save country music than Marty Stuart. From his preservation efforts through his forthcoming Congress of Country Music, to his collaborative efforts with other artists, to his own original music, Marty Stuart embodies everything about preserving the true roots of country music as a self-described radical preservationist.
That doesn’t mean that Marty Stuart is a fuddy-duddy stuck-in-the-mud tired country traditionalist thumping on the Bible of Johnny Cash. On the contrary, Stuart pulls from country music’s wide array of influences and lineages with his music. That’s exactly what Marty and his superb backing band The Fabulous Superlatives will be looking to do once again when they release their new cosmic country-inspired album Altitude on May 19th.
Picking up where Marty’s last album Way Out West released in 2017 left off, Altitude will explore the foray of The Byrd’s into country music through their album Sweetheart of the Rodeo. It was during Marty’s Stuart’s stint supporting surviving Byrds members and co-founders Roger McGuinn and Chris Hillman on their 50th Anniversary tour of the album that Marty Stuart found his inspiration for Altitude.
“I bought my first copy of Sweetheart Of The Rodeo for $2.99 at the discount bin in a shopping mall record store in Goodlettsville, Tennessee, and it became the blueprint for my musical life,” says Stuart. “Revisiting it on the road with Roger and Chris put me back under its spell all over again. I was writing songs in dressing rooms and soundchecks and on the bus, and then one day, I looked up and there was enough to make an album.”
Looking through the track list (see below), and seeing tracks titled “Lost Byrd Space Train (Scene 1), (Scene 2) and (Epilogue)”, you can expect this new project to be thematic, if not conceptualized.
“I’ve always loved songs that feel like old friends but still sound new and fresh,” says Stuart. “The beautiful thing about country music is that the blueprint Jimmie Rodgers laid down—rambling, gambling, sin, redemption, Heaven, Hell—it’s all just as relevant now as it ever was. It’s the human condition, and if you’re honest about it and you’ve got a real band around you, you can make something that’s uniquely yours and stands the test of time.”
Stuart released the song “Country Star” a couple of months back. It was the first taste of music after Marty Stuart signed with the European-based Snakefarm Records in 2022 and proclaimed he had multiple albums in the can. Stuart has also just released the title track of the new album to coincide with the announcement (listen below). As can be heard with both songs, no matter what the influence on Marty Stuart may be, the results will always be country.
“I’ve been quoted as saying the most outlaw thing you can possibly do in Nashville, TN, these days is to play country music. It can be done,” Stuart says. “On ‘Altitude,’ there’s twin fiddles, steel guitar, and the legendary Pig Robbins playing piano on what turned out to be one of his last recording sessions. The song is a reminder to me, and to anyone else still interested, that there’s a few of us out here who still know how to make authentic country music. I have an absolute belief that there’s a world of people out there who still love it, as my wife Connie Smith says it’s the ‘cry of the heart,’ Harlan Howard said ‘it’s’ three chords and the truth’ – that’s country music.”
Marty Stuart wrote all of the songs for the album. Marty and His Fabulous Superlatives “Handsome” Harry Stinson (drums), “Cousin” Kenny Vaughan (guitar), Chris Scruggs (bass), and engineer Mick Conley are all credited as producers.
Altitude is now available for pre-order.
1) Lost Byrd Space Train (Scene 1)
2) Country Star
3) Sitting Alone
4) A Friend Of Mine
8) The Sun Is Quietly Sleeping
9) Lost Byrd Space Train (Scene 2)
10) Night Riding
12) Time To Dance
13) The Angels Came Down
14) Lost Byrd Space Train (Epilogue)
February 8, 2023 @ 8:42 am
Cannot wait to hear this. Love Marty, Kenny is The guitar God, and Sweetheart of the Rodeo affirms (even when he’s edited out) the seminal influence of the great Gram Parsons.
February 8, 2023 @ 9:07 am
Just those first two songs is worth the purchase price of the full album, which is certain to huge chunks of fabulous music! I attended the Sweetheart Anniversary concert in 2018 and it was a blast to see Marty and the band backing McGuinn and Hillman on many of the Byrds’ classics. Based on your description of the forthcoming music and listed song titles, this new album ought to be fantastic! Marty always sets the musical bar High! Cheers & Twangs!
February 8, 2023 @ 9:10 am
Already preordered! Also, I received Trig’s book yesterday…unsigned (bastard); kidding obviously. I just started a different book so it will probably be a few weeks until I get into it, but looking forward to it!
February 8, 2023 @ 9:57 am
Open that bad boy, tonight! (Trig’s book)
Read at least 3 chapters, then leave us some Cliff Notes.
Also, would love to catch a Marty & Superlatives show, soon …
February 8, 2023 @ 10:19 am
Well just throw my money at this album, will buy it day one because it is Marty Stuart, love the song, he is such a great legend, cannot wait for may.
February 8, 2023 @ 10:19 am
Finally some good country music coming out worth buying .
February 8, 2023 @ 10:42 am
Sweethearts was record that opened my eyes to the beauty of country music. (I discovered it long after it came out). My focus had been 100% on rock prior to that. Marty became on my radar shortly after. He is 100% bad-ass. Look forward to it!
February 8, 2023 @ 12:13 pm
All is right with the world
February 8, 2023 @ 1:59 pm
I’m all in on this!
February 8, 2023 @ 4:44 pm
Saw Marty and the Superlatives last year. One of the best shows I’ve ever seen. I went in already a fan, but left thinking Marty is one of the best country artists in my lifetime.
February 8, 2023 @ 5:32 pm
Can’t wait for the whole album, the older he gets the more I’m liking his albums. I wish he’d do a colab with some of the younger artists, Tyler Childers or Daniel Donato on this one would be great.
Sir Adam the Great
February 8, 2023 @ 6:15 pm
It’s a strange thing. I see my country music heroes: the ones I bought the cassettes of, the ones I saw in concert, the ones I called into the radio and requested the songs for. They’re the ones trying to preserve the legacy of country music in many different ways, and Marty is one of them. He’s keeping the traditions in a physical way, but also in the music he’s making. I pray he keeps doing what he’s doing and continues to write the next chapter in the history of country music.
February 8, 2023 @ 6:29 pm
It’s really remarkable, when you think of all the good faith differences of opinion in the comments section of this site… but when it comes to Marty Stuart, there is no disagreement- everyone loves him and what he’s doing. You can’t say that about hardly anyone else, short of perhaps Willie and Loretta.
Marty Stuart and Trigger, leading the fight to save country music!
February 8, 2023 @ 8:04 pm
Totally agree. The guy has a universal appeal and sound, and he’s legit. Somehow he doesn’t polarize people either. Good comment.
February 9, 2023 @ 2:14 am
Love this! Those twin fiddles – man!
February 9, 2023 @ 5:07 am
🎶 Roger McGuinn had a 12 string guitar and it was like nothing I ever heard 🎶
February 9, 2023 @ 2:19 pm
Now THIS should receive a Grammy.
Billy Golly Gee
February 10, 2023 @ 5:57 am
Cosmic American Music… thank God this icon of music is still carryin’ on!
He “gets it”!
February 10, 2023 @ 8:08 am
Wow, I love it already, have seen Marty many times and saw the McGuinn and Hillman shows they did, twice. I love the fact that Marty plays some small venues in small towns which is a more intimate show, always greets and signs stuff after the show.
Really looking forward to this, was wondering if there are guests and if so who? (steel, maybe Chris, but also fiddles)
February 10, 2023 @ 3:58 pm
Seeing Marty and the Superlatives tonight in Augusta, GA. Hope they play a lot of the new material. Last time I saw them it was an all acoustic set with one mic (Which was fantastic). Definitely ready to hear some electrified cosmic country music this evening!
February 10, 2023 @ 7:27 pm
Awesome show! Love the Superlatives!
February 10, 2023 @ 10:29 pm
Marty Stuart’s connections to the music of the Byrds run deep. He owns and frequently plays in concert Clarence White’s famous b-bender Fender Telecaster. When Marty Stuart and Kenny Vaughn trade licks, it is something special.
February 14, 2023 @ 6:14 pm
Had to dig deep to buy Chris Stapleton tix, just to see Marty up here in NH this summer. Three nights sold out.