All posts tagged: Marty Stuart

Oh Happy Day! – Merlefest 25 Wraps Up

Sunday is “Go to Meeting” day in the South, so it figures that the final day at Merlefest has a heavy gospel flavor. But because it is Merlefest – and therefore eclectic – you have your choice of shape-note singing, bluegrass gospel, Sunday blues (which should appeal to the non-believers and sinners alike), and black gospel. I opted for the black gospel sound this year, mostly by default.  (Not surprisingly, I was “late” for church because I slept in after a night of the blues with the Tedeschi Trucks Band.) But the Lord moves in mysterious ways.  And with the Benedict College Gospel Choir (photo at top of post) the Lord definitely moves! By the time I arrived, the choir had an enthusiastic crowd at the Watson Stage swaying and singing to that gospel standard Oh Happy Day!  There was testifying by some of the best voices of the weekend (and that’s saying a lot).  It was the perfect way to kick off Day Four – the final day – of Merlefest 25. The only …

Nashville Cats

In his 1996 book on the Southernization of America entitled Dixie Rising:  How the South is Shaping American Values, Politics, and Culture, former New York Times Atlanta bureau-chief Peter Applebome compares Charlotte, North Carolina and Nashville, Tennessee.  Much of Applebome’s thesis was turned on its head with the election of 2008.  But one thing he said has always stuck with me and it came back today as I was traveling to New Orleans. In comparing the two cities he notes that Nashville is a lot like Charlotte – except that its major industry is music and not banking.  And that difference makes all the difference in the world. I had a layover today in the Nashville airport.  You have to love a city where the airport has live music (in at least two places, including the food court) AND a photo exhibit by none other than Marty Stuart.  Heck, the musicians could have been employees of the Burger King.  The Lovin’ Spoonful’s Nashville Cats immediately jumped to mind: Well, there’s thirteen hundred and fifty-two guitar …