WATCH: Marty Stuart Brings Western Swag to NPR’s Tiny Desk

Call it a moment when country really “came to town.”

Not just to any town, more specifically to our nation’s capital when Country Music Hall of Fame member Marty Stuart and his Fabulous Superlatives visited the NPR Headquarters in Washington, D.C. for a taping of the media network’s infamous Tiny Desk concert series.

Clad in their traditional and just-flamboyant-enough Western wear and fringe, the five-time Grammy-winner breezed into the building with his signature, authentic charm and “cheerful” smile that wholly captivated the entire team of producers and staffers attending his performance.

Marty Stuart and his Fabulous Superlatives perform for NPR’s Tiny Desk concert series, 2024 | photo by Estefania Mitre for NPR

According to NPR journalist Suraya Mohamed, Stuart “had a charming swagger and it was immediately clear we were in the presence of a country and bluegrass music legend.”

Attaboy, Marty.

Marty Stuart (via Marty Stuart’s X account)

And not to be outdone that day were his backing band the Fabulous Superlatives, featuring longtime member Kenny Vaughan on guitar and vocals, Chris Scruggs on bass and vocals, and Harry Stinson on drums and vocals. NPR’s Mohamed went on to recall of the taping, “People in the audience were visibly captivated by this undeniable demonstration of musical excellence — beautiful harmonies, precise rhythmic precision and perfectly blended arrangements all sewn together with a casual flair that was simple and fun.”

Simple, fun, but also spiritual in nature, especially when he arrived at the final song in his set, an original called “Heaven.”

“When we first put our band together, the way we learned to sing together was singing gospel songs,” Stuart told the team at NPR. “I was in love with the Staple Singers as always, Mavis and Pops and Cleotha and Pervis, and they are all like family and so bluegrass music all figured in. So we finally got around to writing a few songs for ourselves and here’s one we got to do called ‘Heaven.’ “

Stuart’s set also included the songs “Tomahawk,” “Streamline,” and of course, the top-five single “Tempted” from his 1991 album of the same name. Catch the full set and all of Stuart’s stories below.