Five-time Grammy winner Marty Stuart, 59, returns to the Savannah Music Festival for the first time since his 2008 performance with Travis Tritt. Stuart and his Fabulous Superlatives last played the festival in 2007. They return at 7 p.m. April 5 for a sold-out show at Ships of the Sea Museum.

Stuart has been building his musical legacy for over five decades. At 13, he began touring with bluegrass legend Lester Flatt and at 21, he was performing with country music icon Johnny Cash.

The band, which includes Chris Scruggs, son of bluegrass musician Earl Scruggs, just released their new album “Way Out West.” It paints a psychedelic picture of Los Angeles for a rhinestone cowboy in the ’60s. An ode to the hours spent driving all night, passing countless neon signs with the Mojave Desert on the horizon, the album is a little bit country, a little bit rockabilly, with a lot of the L.A. flashiness and showmanship and the twang of surfer guitars.


The album, Stuart tells, “is really a love letter to California.”

The band has a reputation for producing that classical 1950s outlaw-rockabilly sound while exploring ways to push the envelope. Featuring a moody Spanish rift, an alluring gospel track, string poppin’ highway licks and trippy harmonic sparkles about being lost in the desert, “Way Out West” does not disappoint.

When asked what advice he would give to someone just getting into country music, Stuart told, “Listen to what everybody sounds like, then get as far away from that as you possibly can."

The band simultaneously worked on both the psychedelic “Way Out West” album and a “hillbilly surf band record” that has yet to be titled but already has 15 tracks cut, Stuart tells

This summer, the band will be joining fellow country star Chris Stapleton’s All-American Road Show.

Stuart has been a steward for all things country music throughout his distinguished career. Boasting one of the world’s largest country music memorabilia collections, Stuart plans to open the Congress of Country Music in his hometown of Philadelphia, Miss. The project includes a museum of Stuart’s personal collection of over 20,000 records and artifacts, a concert venue, and the Marty Stuart Center, which is devoted to serving students who want to learn about the vast array of career options in the music industry.