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Occurs on Sunday August 20 2023

Approximate running time: 2 hours


Big Top Chautauqua Tent Venue
32525 Ski Hill Road
Bayfield WI 54814

Event Notes


Marty Stuart & His Fabulous Superlatives

Sunday, August 20, 2023
Grounds Open: 5:30PM
Show: 7:30PM

Tickets: $40/$56/$74
Blue Canvas Club Pre-Sale: Wed, Apr 12, 2023 - 12:00pm CT
General Public Sale: Tue, Apr 18, 2023 - 12:00pm CT

Sponsored by Denny & Judy Kurschner

A Country Music Hall of Famer, five-time Grammy Award-winner, and AMA Lifetime Achievement honoree, Marty Stuart knows a thing or two about standing the test of time, his exhilarating new album, Altitude , is proof of that. Recorded in Nashville with his longtime band, The Fabulous Superlatives, the collection finds Stuart picking up where he left off on 2017’s Way Out West , exploring a cosmic country landscape populated by dreamers and drifters, misfits and angels, honky-tonk heroes and lonesome lovers. There’s a desert flare to the music here, a sweeping, spacious feel that conjures up wide-open horizons and endless stretches of two-lane highway, and the production is raw and cinematic to match, tipping its cap both to Bakersfield and Laurel Canyon as it balances jangle and twang in equal measure. It would be easy for an artist as accomplished as Stuart to rest on his laurels at this point in his career, but Altitude instead showcases the work of a searcher with an insatiable appetite for growth and reflection, one whose ambition, much like his keen wit and rich imagination, only seems to grow with each and every release.

Stuart and his band spent much of 2019 breaking in the new material live, and by 2020, they were raring to get into the studio. COVID, however, had other plans. Not wanting to lose any momentum, Stuart moved the sessions from the temporarily shuttered Capitol Studios in Hollywood, CA to East Iris Studios in Nashville, TN, where he and his bandmates were still able to perform live on the floor (albeit masked and six feet apart).

The electricity in the room is palpable on Altitude , which opens with the blistering and trippy “Lost Byrd Space Train (Scene 1).” Played on Byrds guitarist Clarence White’s original B-Bender Telecaster (another prized possession in Stuart’s collection), the instrumental track chugs along at a breakneck pace, flirting with country, bluegrass, and even psychedelic rock as it sets the stage for the wide-ranging sonic journey to come. Stuart keeps the energy high here—the scorching “Country Star” squeezes a lifetime’s worth of absurdist imagery into a three-minute tour-de-force, while the ecstatic “Time To Dance” is a slice of pure honky-tonk joy, and the rousing “Friend Of Mine” even offers hints of Link Wray and The Ventures—but he never loses sight of the emotional core of the music, even amidst all of the instrumental fireworks. The ringing 12-string and bittersweet harmonies of “Sitting Alone,” for instance, only serve to heighten the song’s sense of distance and isolation; the hypnotic sitar line on “Space” amplifies the uneasiness and longing that simmers just beneath the surface; and the spare acoustic delivery of “The Angels Came Down” underscores the raw vulnerability in Stuart’s deeply autobiographical lyrics.

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Mississippi, he landed his first big gig in Lester Flatts’ band at the tender age of thirteen, and by twenty-one, he was working on the road and in the studio with Johnny Cash. Though Stuart built his early reputation backing up country and bluegrass royalty, it wasn’t long before Nashville recognized him as a star in his own right, and over the course of forty-plus years as a solo artist, he would go on to release more than twenty major label albums, scoring platinum sales, hit singles, and just about every honor the industry could bestow along the way.

Stuart emerged as an unofficial caretaker of the culture, too, spending much of his career rescuing and collecting country music artifacts from throughout the genre’s history. The first piece he picked up? Patsy Cline’s makeup kit, which he bought from a junk shop for $75. These days, Stuart, who Rolling Stone calls “one of the world’s foremost country experts and archivists,” has roughly 20,000 pieces in his collection, including a handwritten copy of Hank Williams’ “I Saw The Light” and Johnny Cash’s first black performance suit. While select items have been exhibited everywhere from the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame to the Louvre, Stuart is hard at work building a dedicated arts and cultural center to preserve and display it all in his hometown of Philadelphia, which he hopes can serve as an inspirational touchstone for younger generations to figure out who they are and embark on music journeys of their own.

Ticket Options

Lawn/Grounds Pass (Outside/Uncovered)
  • General admission access to grounds. Seating is not provided by the venue. BYO chair or blanket. Weather may impact sight lines. No access to tent seating.
Reserved Seating (Inside/Covered)
  • Includes seating provided by the venue inside the tent and covered by structure. Available seating options include 1st tier, 2nd tier, box seating, and table seating.

Ticketing Policies & Fees

*Plus applicable taxes and fees
  • 5.5% State and local sales tax
  • $3 Facility Fee per ticket (facility fee is used for tent, building, and grounds needs)
  • 2% Handling Fee per order, up to a maximum of $8
  • Purchases made at the venue ticket gate on show night reflect order fees and taxes and will be rounded up to the nearest dollar to expedite the line.
  • All ticket sales are final. No refunds or exchanges.

Ticket holders and attendees are subject the following conditions:
  • Attendees grant unrestricted rights & licenses for use of their likeness in any form of public broadcast and production, and for promotional purposes.
  • Big Top Chautauqua reserves the right to refuse admission or evict anyone from the venue premises due to disorderly behavior without issuing a refund.
  • Big Top Chautauqua reserves the right to search all persons, packages, bags, and other items entering venue grounds and/or other properties owned by Lake Superior Big Top Chautauqua. The safety of our guests, volunteers, staff, and artists are top priority.
  • All venue policies and procedures are subject to change without notice.

Make an annual donation of $125 or more and receive exclusive access to ticket pre-sales, usually a week before the general public. Learn more about the Blue Canvas Club HERE

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