Marty Stuart’s Late Night Jam Has Become a Rite of Passage

There are not many reasons to get excited about CMA Fest in Nashville these days—the annual June gathering in Music City that grew out of CMA Fan Fest started in the early 70s as a way for fans to meet and greet their favorite country stars. That’s not to say you still can’t see some cool folks occasionally on a side stage at the fest, or with the way the mainstream is improving overall, perhaps catch a good set from someone like Lainey Wilson or Jon Pardi that will be worth your time and participation. But let’s face it, it’s pop country’s biggest party.

But for 20 years now (with a short hiatus during the pandemic) Marty Stuart’s Late Night Jam at the Ryman Auditorium on Wednesday during CMA Fest has been the crown jewel of the event for those who can secure a ticket to the Country Music Mother Church. What started as a more healthy alternative to whatever else was happening at CMA Fest at that time has not only become a traditional all its own, it has become a proving ground and a rite of passage for some of the most important talent in country music coming up from the independent ranks.

For example, in 2019 right before the pandemic, Tyler Childers played the Late Night Jam with Dierks Bentley and Sheryl Crow as the other top talent. This was right as Tyler Childers was exploding in popularity. In 2022 for the Late Night Jam’s return post COVID, Billy String played just as he was making his way to the arena level. Lainey Wilson also played in 2022, and lo and behold, she’s now one of the hottest women in country.

Other Late Night Jam alums include legends like Dolly Parton, John Prine, Emmylou Harris, and Tanya Tucker, and superstars like Chris Stapleton. When it comes to the Late Night Jam, nobody’s worried how many butts might be in the seats in the comparatively small Mother Church. It’s about the prestige of playing the annual event, and who is there to see you. It’s not a coincidence the event has been a launching pad for some careers.

In 2023, Marty Stuart’s Late Night Jam on Wednesday, June 7th will feature Sierra Ferrell, who just like Tyler Childers and Billy Strings before her, is on a meteoric rise, and just may be the next big independent country superstar. Singing trio Chapel Hart will also be performing, and they also are finally starting to find the traction they deserve.

They will join Joe Walsh, John Oates, The Del McCoury Band, Connie Smith, Comedian Gary Mule Deer, new traditionalist Jake Worthington, along with the The Grand Ole Opry Square Dancers for the 2023 Late Night Jam, which of course will also include Marty Stuart’s Fabulous Superlatives.

“It’s hard to believe this is the 20th Late Night Jam,” says Marty Stuart. “This year is no different than all the rest. The Ryman will be filled with Country Music Hall of Famers, Rock and Roll Hall of Famers, Musician’s Hall of Famers, Songwriter Hall of Famers, Bluegrass Hall of Famers, up and comers and lots of laughter. And to top it all off, the Grand Ole Opry Square dancers will perform! It is the pirate ship show of the week. It is a one-of-a-kind event. Not to be missed.”

The Late Night Jam is being sponsored by Marty’s Congress of Country Music, which is finally opening in incremental stages in Philadelphia, Mississippi. He’s also readying the release of his latest album Altitude on May 19th, and just released a video for the lead single “Country Star.”

Ticket’s for Marty’s Stuart’s Late Night Jam are on sale now.

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