This story has been updated with the track list for the project (see below).
Radical preservationist and now Country Music Hall of Famer Marty Stuart has a new musical project on the way, but it’s not of the conventional type, or with his backing band The Fabulous Superlatives. Instead, Songs I Sing in the Dark will be a series of 20 song releases separated by one month intervals that will feature Marty Stuart performing songs acoustically and recorded in his former home in Nashville.
“The title tells the story,” Marty Stuart says. “I have a long line of songs that range from obscure, originals, to old 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.”
Marty Stuart has been somewhat out of the spotlight lately, and making moves behind-the-scenes as he readies and raises awareness of his Congress of Country Music in Philadelphia, Mississippi to house his some 20,000 pieces of country music memorabilia, as well as an education center and event space. But over that time he’s also slowly been working on this new project.
“There was a mighty congregation of names of profound songwriters whose presence and lyrics are to be cherished,” Stuart says. “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 a 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.'”
The first song from the project that has just been released is “Ready For The Times To Get Better”—a song written by Allen Reynolds, and recorded most famously by Crystal Gayle who enjoyed a #1 with it in 1978.
“I love the restless wisdom in the words, and those words are shadowed by a lonesome melody that is served up from the blue side of town,” Stuart says. “As the pandemic raged on, ‘Ready For The Times To Get Better’ became my personal theme song. I can’t seem to quit playing it. Several months later, I’m still at it. The title proclaims what every soul on planet Earth undoubtedly feels. It is the perfect country song and I consider it an honor to sing such words.”
There’s no word on if or when a physical representation of the album may take form. For now, Songs I Sing In The Dark will be a digital-only release. An introduction to the project and the first song can be seen below.
- “Skip a Rope” (Jack Moran, Glenn Douglas Tubb)
- “Matches” (Charles F. Craig, Keith Stegall)
- “Heartbreak Kind” (Marty Stuart, Paul Kennerley)
- “I Can’t Hold Myself in Line” (Merle Haggard)
- “Six White Horses” (Larry Murray)
- “Fault Lines” (Mike Campbell, Tom Petty)
- “Padre / The Wall” (Marty Stuart, Harlan Howard)
- “Born to Run” (Paul Kennerley)
- “Poor Side of Town” (Lou Adler, Johnny Rivers)
- “The Sun Don’t Shine No More” (Marty Stuart)
- “Orange Blossom Special” (Ervin T. Rouse)
- “Sow ‘Em on the Mountain” (A.P. Carter)
- “Honky Tonk” (Marty Stuart)
- “I’ll Cry Tomorrow” (Marty Stuart)
- “I Never Picked Cotton” (Bobby George, Charlie Williams)
- “One in a Row” (Willie Nelson)
- “Ready for the Times to Get Better” (Allen Reynolds)
- “Space Cowboy” (Steve Miller, Ben Sidran)
- “This Time” (Waylon Jennings)
- “Till I Get It Right” (Hollis Rudolph DeLaughter, Larry Henley)