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Marty Stuart Interview

Not Looking Back

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Marty Stuart - Souls' Chapel

Marty Stuart - Souls' Chapel

Updated November 13, 2005
Kim – Souls' Chapel is a phenomenal album and the story behind it is just as good. I understand that when you got the DUI you were already working on the album and it stalled things for a bit.

Marty – Yeah, but it didn’t so much stall it as put a dent in it and then it kept going.

Kim – Was Souls' Chapel was just something different for you to do – a trip back to your roots – or do you feel like God was really pulling on your heart-strings?

Marty – It wasn’t anything different because back to the very beginning, the first public appearance that I ever made in my life was standing on a piano bench in church, singing. The first job I ever had was the Sullivan Family Gospel Singers. In the early 90’s, when I was so focused on country radio, the way I got to play gospel music was by way of Jerry and Tammy Sullivan. We wrote songs and I produced and recorded three records with them. There was just never any room inside of country music’s agenda to let me do a gospel record. It’s just something that I always wanted to get around to doing. Finally the circumstances, the songs, the timing all lined up and God just made a way for it. That’s how we got Soul's Chapel.

Kim – I read about how the gift of Pop Staples’ guitar was such a help for you getting your life back on track because you’d lost sight of where your faith was. Where would you say that your track is leading now?

Marty – In just pure terms – not trying to play anybody’s politically correct game or any church-house game. I’ve been riding the fence for a long time between what I knew, what I believed and what I was living. What happened to me was God’s much needed prod to go to one side or the other. You either radically sell out one way or the other. I’ve made my decision and haven’t looked back since.

Kim – Would you say that the party life-style that surrounds you as a country music superstar makes it more difficult to live out your faith?

Marty – Nah! Absolutely not. It just amounts to getting right and getting real. I totally understand that I’m an outsider to the Christian music circles and that’s all right with me. Since the time I started touring when I was 12 years old I’ve had a lot of friends in quartets. Some of the most decadent human beings I’ve ever met are gospel singers and preachers. I promise you that a lot of them that I know could give Keith Richards and me and Johnny Cash and George Jones a run for our money on our best night back in the day. So let’s not go pointing fingers at country stars. It’s about being people that’s either right or wrong. If you blew the lid off of the church I think there would be a lot of rats going scrambling.

Kim – I understand. There are a lot of good church folks who mess up and then do their best to bury it because they’re afraid.

Marty – That’s the kind of person I was. There’s your example of me. Good church boy, brought up right, solid Christian parents who walked it as close as I could, but it was that little piece that you hide and bury. That upsets the whole apple cart in the long run, don’t it?

Kim – It does. It always seems to come back.

Marty – And that’s not pointing a finger at anyone but myself. I’m a good example of the people sitting in those pews. We were taught it, we know it, we love it, we ain’t quite up to living it and somewhere along the way, I believe that God has to shine the light because He has to be true to His Word and to His plan. And in my case it was a blue light.

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