Last night, the wife, Pinkie, and I ventured to the Tall City. Permian Basin PBS hosted an event in Downtown Midland, Texas to benefit Public Broadcasting along with First Responders. In an effort to host a large audience in this post pandemic time, PBS hosted at a sectioned off part of Main Street in front of their offices at the old Ritz Theatre. The street was transformed into a class A dance party.
The evening began with BBQ provided to us by the Odessa Chuck Wagon Gang. The group catered their long standard brand of Brisket and Beans and that good ol’ potato salad and peach cobbler. The tasty food stuck to our bellies and give us the energy reserves needed to dance the night away.
Scott Kirby, a folk singer/songwriter from Key West, Florida was the opening act. Kirby mixed some of his own, handwritten tunes with some Texas classic favorites like his rendition of Guy Clark’s, “LA Freeway.” I was able to shake Scott’s hand and thank him for his performance. He seemed overall a humble man for such a talented musician. He was excited to have been asked to sing his songs in front of the Country Hall of Fame main event Marty Stuart. Kirby played bass in his 20’s and then moved into a career in politics until 1988. He had just enough New England winters to suit him, so he packed up his guitar and moved to the sunny beaches of Key West.
During the event, I also was honored to say hello and shake the hand of Jody Nix. Jody Nix, an accomplished musician who has played his style of Western Swing across the Great State of Texas for over 55 years, made the drive over from Big Spring to support his old friend Marty Stuart. I related the story to my wife of the first two-steppin’ I ever did. I circled the sawdust on more than one occasion with Jody Nix style of music. Jody would play dances out at the old Midland Exhibit building and during my high school days he played for our rodeo dances.
The hot Texas sun had begun to duck behind the Tall Buildings of downtown Midland. A nice cooling breeze was blowing in at approximately 7:30pm, Marty Stuart and his Fabulous Superlatives arrived on the stage to a hootin’ hollerin’ West Texas welcome. Marty played many old favorites some dating back to his days with Johnny Cash band and his early days with Lester Flatt. The mix of country and blue grass sounds kept the dance floor full all night long. I thoroughly enjoyed watching his interaction with the crowd. He really gave us what we wanted to hear. His stage presence was natural and we knew he was having fun just doing his job making the music that we have grown up to love.
I loved how Marty allowed each of the members of his band the Superlatives to take the spotlight and perform their own solos. He was definitely in tune to each member of his band and the four some together made an amazing sound of music.
“Cousin” Kenny Vaughan long time lead guitarist for Marty brought his rockabilly style to West Texas.
Drummer Harry Stinson, who first worked professionally touring with Dottie West in the 1970’s, spent a few years with Steve Earle and the Dukes and founded his own band, Dead Reckoning before joining forces with The Fabulous Superlatives in 2002.
Original Superlative, The “Apostle” Paul Martin was back with the band at this event playing the “Bass Fiddle,” as Marty Stuart dubbed. Paul who was once the lead singer and guitarist of the country pop group Exile, joined Stuart in the makings of The Fabulous Superlatives. Paul Martin had previously been replaced by Bassist Chris Scruggs as he had moved on to pursue other interests including his own band, “Martin Family Circus.”
Paul and his wife Jamie began singing together with their four children back in 2010. The band got it’s “Martin Family Circus” moniker from Country music hall of fame member, Vince Gill. It was enjoyed by all to see Paul once again on stage with Marty Stuart.
The music of Marty Stuart is a huge part of the sound track of my youth. This music still resonates within me today. His “Burn Me Down,” coupled with “Hillbilly Rock” have always been in the back ground of my mind. It was an honor and a privilege to be a part of this amazing event. Checking a Marty Stuart show off my Bucket List is a night I shall never forget.
I am thankful that we are in Post Pandemic and can once again interact with society at these LIVE EVENTS. After seeing Marty’s Show, I have the bug and am ready to once again begin venturing to concerts near and far.
One fan last night claimed he drove 1000 miles, From Las Vegas to West Texas, “Just to hear Stuart sing Hillbilly Rock.” After the fun and that fantastic show Marty Stuart put on last night, I just might do the same.
Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives put on a Fabulous Show.