An opening set led by Tulsa torchbearer, Paul Benjaman, features an Oklahoma All-Star band with performances by local artists Ayilla, Kalyn Fay, Jacob Tovar and Jared Tyler. Presented by Red Dirt Relief Fund, this event will benefit their Financial Assistance fund to aid Oklahoma music professionals facing unavoidable emergencies. Since 2012, Red Dirt Relief Fund has granted over $625,000 to more than 800 music people in 98 Oklahoma counties including $300,850 in COVID relief grants since March 2020.
With legends like George Jones, Johnny Cash and Merle Haggard all passed on, country music purists often echo the question Jones himself asked: “Who’s going to fill their shoes?” The answer, in part, is Marty Stuart.
While he’s too gracious to admit it himself, the Grammy-winning singer, songwriter and musician is living, breathing country-music history. He’s played alongside the masters, from Cash to Lester Flatt, who discovered him; been a worldwide ambassador for Nashville, Bakersfield and points in between; and safeguarded country’s most valuable traditions and physical artifacts. Including its literal shoes: Stuart counts the brogan of Carter Family patriarch A.P. Carter and an assortment of Cash’s black boots among his vast collection of memorabilia.
But most importantly, Stuart continues to record and release keenly relevant music, records that honor country’s rich legacy while advancing it into the future. Way Out West, his 18th studio album, hits both of those marks. Produced by Mike Campbell (of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers), the album is a cinematic tour-de-force, an exhilarating musical journey through the California desert that solidifies Stuart as a truly visionary artist.