BY TOM NETHERLANDS | SPECIAL AT HERALD MAIL
Marty Stuart and his fabulous superlatives
Make way for the country music renaissance man.
Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives make their triumphant return to town on Sunday, January 23 at the famed Paramount Center for the Arts in Bristol, Tennessee. Stuart has performed at Paramount and Bristol several times.
But no two Marty Stuart shows are alike. He can summon his cosmic rendition of “Orange Blossom Special”. He can dive his eternally cool self into the catalogs of mentors Johnny Cash or Lester Flatt. Either way, Stuart’s driving sound is reminiscent of Cash’s Tennessee Three, a freight train of unmistakable music. No wonder Bristol loves Marty Stuart and Marty Stuart loves Bristol.
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Johnson City’s Florencia Rusinol (pronounced ROO-SIN-YOLE) projects hauntingly flowery music, just as she embodies the essence of America.
She is now featured with her band as Florencia & The Feeling. Lock in their flair on Saturday, January 22 at the Delta Blues BBQ in Bristol, Tennessee.
Born in Canada to Argentinian parents, Rusinol grew up in eastern Tennessee. A graduate in music, her music qualifies as a living exploration of world music and American music. Snippets of rural Appalachian boogie alongside windswept Argentinian flavors and generous blasts of jazz. It is dance music; it’s Florencia Rusinol’s music that she interprets, yes, with a lot of emotion.
Erwin’s Rusty Steel doesn’t just listen to old rock hair.
Rusty Steel embodies the hair metal era of rock past and present. He is not a relic. Check out the sizzle of Steel on Saturday, January 22 at Sidetracks in Bristol, Tennessee.
Steel resembles Axl Rose, leader of Guns N’ Roses. He sings like a combination of Jon Bon Jovi and Tom Keifer from Cinderella with an East Tennessee accent. Long hair, style and substance, whether it’s an original or a cover, Steel has rock fans dreaming of the 80s past and youngsters hoping for a return of such rock glory. To return to? Rock never died inside Rusty Steel.
The road won’t last forever for longtime Texas musical troubadour Robert Earl Keen.
Keen will retire from touring in September. Announced on his website on January 14, Keen – who will perform at the Cameo Theater in Bristol, Va. on Wednesday, January 26 – said that as of September 4, 2022, “I will no longer be touring or performing in public”.
Keen added that he would continue to write songs.
“I’m a big believer in clarity and truth,” Keen wrote on his website. “As much as I love what I do, it’s important that I do it well or not at all. I am not sick or in an existential crisis. I think making a decision and leaving the road while I still love her is how I want to leave her. I witnessed the alternative first hand and vowed to come out feeling all the love for the music and play the same way I came in – with passion and enthusiasm.
There are good $57-$64 tickets left to see Keen at The Cameo. For more information, visit www.robertearlkeen.com. To purchase tickets, go to https://thecameotheater.com or call 276-296-1234.
Keen follows a scintillating performance from Christone “Kingfish” Ingram last Thursday at the Cameo. Despite being just 22, the bluesman didn’t sound so blue in Bristol, but he played like he was intent on melting concrete.
“As you can all see,” Kingfish said on several songs in his 90-minute set, “I’m a very emotional player.”
A player with fire and poise, while generously sampling his two albums, Kingfish highlighted several extended guitar solos. Echoes of blues legend Buddy Guy surged from the young Mississippian’s deft fingers.
Backed by a three-man band, Kingfish pierced large vocal audiences on songs such as “662” and “Long Distance Woman.” James Dillard of Knoxville sat in the front row.
“Incredible!” said Dillard, who said he was originally from Bristol.
“I used to come to the Cameo when I was a kid,” he said. “I would see movies.”
In Kingfish, Dillard witnessed a marvel that mesmerized. For example, in the middle of the show, Kingfish came off stage with guitar in hand and was playing, into the crowd. He walked up an aisle, into the hall and upstairs on the balcony, where he played a searing solo at the edge.
Emotional player, indeed. Sweet dripped from his forehead, down his face, and seemingly into the notes he played. He sang with power, played like a prodigy and fueled it all with high octane blues.
Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion alum Charley Crockett leads this week’s free MP3 downloads. Go to https://www.pastemagazine.com/noisetrade/music/charley-crockett/oct-5-2021-paste-studio-atx-austin-tx. Find four songs, including Crockett’s dip-dyed country “Are We Lonesome Yet.” Each was recorded live at Paste Studio last October.
Tom Netherland is a freelance writer. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.