In Concert: Stacey Earle & Mark Stuart
“Duo or Solo, till death do they part”
Stacey Earle and Mark Stuart met for the first time 1992 at a songwriters night in Nashville TN. They knew that night it was one of them things that are just meant to be. They were married in 1993 while raising 2 children from Stacey’s first marriage, “When we got married I knew Mark understood he was marring all three of us. and on that day he did.” Stacey waiting tables, Mark playing night after night in and around Nashville from gigs to sessions balancing time to play their own music. Stacey and Mark each had their own solo careers that started to make a move by opening their own Indie record label Gearle Records in 1998 with the release of Stacey’s Simple Gearle CD followed by Mark’s 1999 release Songs From A Corner Stage and continuing on with Stacey’s 2000 Dancing With Them That Brung Me, before Stacey and Mark would announce their husband and wife duo in 2001 with the release of their (Double Live CD) Must Be Live.
“It would be quite a balancing act at that time raising a family and trying to make a living along with all the other stuff that came with getting by, but we managed” Stacey said, she looks back at her first encounter with the world of touring.
Stacey Earle’s first show was on an arena stage in Sydney, playing rhythm guitar in her brother’s band, Steve Earle & the Dukes, on “The Hard Way” tour in 1990. Stacey appeared on Steve Earle and The Dukes recordings, The Hard Way 1990, Shut Up And Die Like An Aviator 1991 Transcendental Blues 2000.
“I would learn a lot from him; first of all I was allowed to grow up understanding what a songwriter was. Then "I got a major crash course in touring as a musician” Playing for Steve as a Duke the first show would be before thousands of fans in a foreign country was not terrifying, she said. “It was magical,” she said. "I knew right there and then I'm supposed to be doing this.”
She spent about a year and a half on tour with her brother, and then returned to Nashville to start a career of her own as a country/folk singer/songwriter. It was there she found she had a lot more to learn. And a risk to take and lot’s of dues to pay. She felt she had a lot against her. “I was 30 years old and asking seeking a recording deal in Nashville at that age was like asking god to turn back the world clock. She would later land a Staff writing position with the Publishing Co. Ten Ten Music. She will tell you it is an Art in itself to write for other artist, but before that she would meet her husband Mark Stuart. I learned almost all the best of my musicianship from Mark exploring a wide range of influences, from blues to folk to rockabilly to country. Between the two of us we had a lot to show and tell. We still learn from each other day in and out. A great songwriter and musician never should stop learning.
Mark Stuart went to the finest of Music schools. Mark started his schooling listening and admiring his uncle’s guitar playing and his Dads fiddling. Learning and listening to the greats, Chet Atkins, Merle Travis, John Fogerty, The Beatles and many more Players and singers of all genres. He would find himself playing in the School of Honky Tonks and Beer Joints in and around Nashville by age 15 in his Dads band. by managing to stay awake in high school after playing late nights polishing every riff and bend and vocal chord he would go on by age 17 to form his own band make a record and still find the time to play on the road as lead guitar and vocals for acts like Freddy Fender and more taking him into his 20's. Mark truly never in his life ever said there was nothing else he wanted to be when he grew up. He is truly one to live and breathe every word he says. Mark was in off the road when he met Stacey and that very night that he would play the first note of her music never leaving her side. Mark still somehow found the time to work on his own music recording his solo record and touring. And the love of his new family, Mark as well spent some time in the Dukes in the 1990s. Like Earle, he recalls it as a time of glamour: appearing on
“The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," and MTV. “I had someone tuning my guitar, strapping on my guitar," he said. “Now we carry our stuff three flights up in the Red Roof Inn."
Stacey and Mark over the years have lived and learned so much from each other. They have always found themselves inseparable from the beginning. It is playing music day in and out together that locked in the sound and love they could not unlock if they tried.
Their Songs are the diaries of their life good times and bad, completing the love they have. They share the full load together of getting by day by day. They live in Ashland City TN west of Nashville but call home from the road most of the time. “Our children are all grown so we left home” for the past three years. They've gone on to release their Duo albums, together 2003 Never Gonna Let You Go and now 2005 “S&M Communion Bread, 2007 Mark Stuart Left Of Nashville and now 2008 Stacey Earle and Mark Stuart Town Square.
Stacey and Mark are no doubt together as Duo or Solo artist till death do they part. (MySpace)