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Too country, too pop, even too urban and rap these days. The growing diversity of country music has those die-hard traditionalists lamenting the absence of fiddle and steel on country radio.
Except for one person—self-professed country music historian and 20-year member of the Grand Ole Opry, Marty Stuart.
Backstage at Nashville's Ryman Auditorium, Country Weekly asked Marty what he thought about country music's changing landscape. "I think it's great. I think as long as people follow their hearts instead of what they’re told to be, we’ll get to the right place," he explained. But Marty also wants the new crop of traditionalists to know they can still have an audience. "We see young musicians come to our shows that have that fire in their hearts for traditional country music. And they need to know that it’s OK, it’s alive and well, go play it."
Marty celebrated the 20th anniversary of his Opry induction Saturday (Dec. 9) on the Ryman stage with special guests Old Crow Medicine Show, Brandy Clark, Chief of the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians Phyllis Anderson—along with Choctaw dancers—and his wife, Connie Smith.