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Home:  >News & Events   >News Archives   >2003

Faulkner’s home sets stage for country stars’ performance, tour announcement

Marty Stuart, Merle Haggard hold news conference at Rowan Oak June 2

May 30, 2003

By Deidra Jackson
University of Mississippi News Services

OXFORD, Miss. — Country music stars Marty Stuart and Merle Haggard use William Faulkner’s fabled home as a backdrop Monday, June 2, to announce plans for a summer tour across America’s heartland.

At noon, the two will unveil details of their “Electric Barnyard Tour” at Rowan Oak on the edge of the University of Mississippi’s Oxford campus.

The singer/songwriters also will perform at the news conference, which is free and open to the public.

“The Electric Barnyard Tour is a rolling country music show that’s part tent show, part revival meeting,” said Stuart, a country music scholar and frequent performer at UM. “I designed the event to play in small towns and rural atmospheres throughout America, taking various forms of country music back to the people.”

Haggard, who is slated to perform a June 1 afternoon concert at UM’s new Ford Center for the Performing Arts, said, “We’re going back to remember the forgotten ones.”

The tour also will feature Stuart’s and Haggard’s backup bands—The Fabulous Superlatives and The Strangers— as well as BR-549, Connie Smith, Rhonda Vincent and The Rage, and The Old Crow Medicine Show. The groups will perform at the news conference.

Stuart also will announce the July 1 release of his first album this century, which he bills as his “love letter to the country music genre.”

The news conference will be broadcast live by Nashville’s 650 WSM-AM Radio, Sirius Satellite Radio and via WSM Online.

At age 13 in 1971, Stuart joined legendary Lester Flatt’s bluegrass band as a guitarist. Fusing honky-tonk with a gritty rockabilly backbeat and a fondness for bluegrass, Stuart went on to a successful solo career, recording and producing hit records. He has spent the past few years involved in several projects, including film scores, (All the Pretty Horses, Hi-Lo Country and others); an album and book of words and photographs, Pilgrims; and working as president of the Country Music Foundation.

Hailed by many critics as “the greatest country artist of our times,” Haggard enjoyed an extraordinary streak of 37 straight Top 10 hits including 23 No. 1 singles in a 30-year career span. He is noted for his distinctive brand of music that draws from the uniquely American folk, pop, jazz and blues musical traditions. His songs have been recorded by artists from country to rock ’n’ roll, and have influenced an entire generation of performers.

Related Links
WSM Online.
William Faulkner’s Rowan Oak.” from William Faulkner on the Web.

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