Photo by Jesse Faatz

Last night, Marty Stuart welcomed Emmylou Harris, Marcus King, Billy Strings and Lainey Wilson on stage during his 19th Late Night Jam at the mystic Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tenn. The annual occasion returned for the first time after a two-year COVID-19 induced hiatus forced the artist off the stage while the world grappled with the effects of the pandemic. 

The show was billed as a part of the CMA Music Festival, which formally kicks off today in Music City. Stuart’s Wednesday night gig featured an impressive display of talent, who pulled from the artist’s archive of celebrity instruments for the event, including Johnny Cash’s 1937 Martin D-45, Pop Staples’ 1969 Fender Rosewood Telecaster and George Jones’ 1957 Martin D-28.

The show got underway with Wilson laying down the bars on Hank Williams’ “Lost Highway.” Then, King performed his 2020 original, “Wildflowers & Wine,” before Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives joined for a take on Howlin’ Wolf’s seminal 1964 track, “Killing Floor.” 

Before long, Billy Strings stepped out to join Stuart and his band on the traditional number, “Long Journey Home.” Next, Strings’ bassist Royal Masat assisted the ensemble on Jimmie Driftwood’s “Tennessee Stud” and The Delmore Brothers’ “Freight Train Boogie.” 

Stuart then welcomed his wife, Connie Smith, on stage to pay tribute to the late Merle Haggard by performing 1966’s “The Fugitive.” Later, decorated musician Emmylou Harris duetted with Stuart on “Three Chords And The Truth.” The final guest of the monumental evening included Colt Clark and The Quarantine Kids, who performed a handful of covers alongside the bluegrass great, including a take on The Beatles’ “Get Back” and Freddie King’s 1971 track, “Going Down.” 

Watch the fan-shot clip of “Lost Highway” featuring Wilson and Masat below. 

Watch “Killing Floor” with Marcus King.

Watch “Long Journey” with Billy Strings.