Marty Stuart Kicks Off New Project “Songs I Sing In The Dark”
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)
March 24, 2021 @ 6:42 pm
Cody Jinks also recorded this song.
March 24, 2021 @ 7:08 pm
Poignant. Love the honesty of the production.
The bird in the video takes me to Rhiannon’s, They’re Calling Me Home.
Both hauntingly powerful.
March 24, 2021 @ 7:17 pm
Thanks for the head’s up. Anything the masterful mistro puts out is worth a listen. Never disappoints.
March 25, 2021 @ 3:19 am
Trigger, what is the status of Marty’s project in Mississippi, it seems like it’s been a long time coming.
March 25, 2021 @ 7:40 am
To do what he wants to do, he’s got to raise some $30 million. From my understanding, that’s what he’s been trying to do. I’ve seen plans for it, and I know he’s secured some grants and such, but I don’t think construction has commenced in earnest yet. I feel like we’re still a while away.
March 25, 2021 @ 9:02 am
30 mil is a HUGE amount of money to raise for a private museum. Could be a nice tourist attraction, if built, but how much traffic would it bring in terms of making it profitable? Thinking like an investor, hmmm…a country music museum in rural Mississippi. Hard sell. You already have the CMHOF in Nashville. How many folks go to Miss on vacation as a destination? Ok, theres Elvis birthplace, but its just a shotgun shack in Tupelo. Some folks drive the blues highway to Clarksdale, but theres not a lot there either, save for a couple blues nightclubs and some gravestones and highway markers. There is Jerry Lee Lewis house in Nesbitt, which i toured, and its worthwhile, but again you gotta look at the overall economics. Museums arent big moneymakers in general. Need a wealthy benefactor who loves country music. Im guessing Marty aint got that kinda dough.
March 25, 2021 @ 10:20 am
Marty may not raise the money. I really don’t know. But the idea is much more than just a museum for his artifacts. Looking over the plans, the complex would constitute an entire city block, and include an event space for concerts, a cultural center where you could have conferences, classrooms, probably a restaurant, all kinds of stuff. I would think of it like Bristol’s Birthplace of Country Music, and I think Marty’s idea is “If you build it, they will come.” He could have festivals and big-named folks play in the concert hall to draw people to it.
I definitely think it’s ambitious, and that’s why it’s taken so long to take shape. But if done right, it could be really cool.
March 25, 2021 @ 11:39 am
Well, that sounds a bit more interesting. But Mississippi? I dunno, certainly id support it if i could, but again how much traffic would it bring? Yeah, if you made it into a music festival , that could bring people in, but once or twice a year? Sustainable economically, thats the big factor.
Martys done incredibly cool things before. His RFD tv show was as good as it gets for traditional country music fans.
He started this concept tour back in the early 2000s where he and Haggard wanted to do a concert tour of heartland America by way of playing rural county fair venues for farmers and rural folks. He actually started the tour, and it included Old Crow Medicine Show, BR5-49, Rhonda Vincent and others. I was ready to buy tickets for it, when the plug got pulled on it barely a couple weeks in. No explanation given. Guess it was likely a financial bust. I was royally bummed at the time. My point is, he has cool ideas that many of us like, but sometimes they arent realistic economically.
Regardless, Marty Stuart has arguably become THE Ambassador for real Country Music. Hes the real deal.
March 25, 2021 @ 2:52 pm
Trig, do you know if there’s a website or way to get involved in this project from an engineering/construction standpoint and where they’re at as far as preliminary design? I’m a professional engineer and have worked for a large engineering/design firm for 15 years; and we occasionally offer free services for museums/community projects. Marty is one of the few artists that I’ve travelled to different states for shows and was a huge fan of his show on RFD. I’m not talking about offering hundreds of thousands of dollars in free services or anything, but am curious about getting involved.
March 25, 2021 @ 3:30 pm
Yes, The Congress of Country Music has a website here with donations and other info. There is also an email address to get in contact with them at the bottom of the site.
Also if you go to Marty Stuart’s website and look under the “News” tab, there more info about the renovations and such going on:
March 25, 2021 @ 4:19 am
I haven’t heard any updates on his Congress of Country Music since October. It would be nice for it to be open along with everything else opening up.
March 25, 2021 @ 4:42 am
Wonderful song and and wonderful cover. I was 18 when Crystal release it over 40 years ago.Time really fly…
March 25, 2021 @ 6:33 am
This shapes up as a wonderful project….super excited to hear Marty’s song selections and acoustic performances.
March 25, 2021 @ 7:22 am
When Country music does it’s job it truly is a reflection of the human condition and the world in which we live – Marty Stewart
March 25, 2021 @ 4:34 pm
Just a quick update, I was finally able to run down a track list and posted it above.
March 25, 2021 @ 4:48 pm
This looks like it’s going to be great! Pretty neat to see “Poor Side of Town” on here. That was always my favorite Johnny Rivers song, and I’ve just recently been listening to it again. He even had Johnny himself sing it with his band on the Marty Stuart show in one episode. Also always loved Willie Nelson’s “One In A Row,” in which Trisha Yearwood also did a great version of.
March 25, 2021 @ 7:30 pm
good to see marty stewart back singing again. looking foward for his new album
March 26, 2021 @ 1:17 pm
This reminds me of Rosanne Cash’s “The List”. And that’s not a bad thing.
March 26, 2021 @ 3:07 pm
It simply doesn’t get better than one voice/one guitar. We need more like this.
March 26, 2021 @ 7:14 pm
At this point in time it’s hard to imagine him without TFS backing him, but I’m still looking forward to this. Marty is an icon.
March 27, 2021 @ 4:06 pm
Love hearing your voice singing and the guitar , yes It time for things to get better.
Just loved it’ Thanks Marty,!
March 30, 2021 @ 4:53 pm
I’m really happy he’s getting new exposure to some awesome country songs from the past that are not as remembered as well as they should be. SIX WHITE HORSES – in my opinion, that Tommy Cash record is a great as anything his brother John ever did; BORN TO RUN fantastic Emmylou Harris hit, love it more that the same titled Springsteen song, I NEVER PICKED COTTON the very best thing Roy Clark ever recorded.
April 9, 2021 @ 4:18 pm
You are truly a Country Music Rhodes Scholar ! Your definitely have earned your spot on that Country Music Mount Rushmore !! Bravo my friend, bravo.
September 3, 2021 @ 5:43 pm
How will fans be able to purchase the digital versions of Marty’s new album?? Honestly, I hope there’s a physical CD version coming down the line somewhere in the very near future….
September 3, 2021 @ 6:45 pm
At this point, they only appear to be digital-only releases. But if a physical CD is made available, I’ll try and let folks know. I might review it once all the songs are released.
July 21, 2022 @ 4:09 pm
Do you know anything more about ‘Songs I Sing in the Dark’? Stuart was releasing songs one at a time, and then they just stopped. No word of a release date for the album. At least none I can find.
July 26, 2022 @ 3:52 pm
Unfortunately, I don’t. It seems like Stuart abandoned the project halfway through. I have tried to get more info on this and other things from the Stuart camp unsuccessfully. I think he’s really trying to put the final push together to get his Congress of Country Music open.
July 26, 2022 @ 5:31 pm
Ah, damn. I was liking those songs. Hope the whole thing gets released at some point. Thanks.