June 11, 2009 — Sleep is a rare commodity in Nashville during the CMA Music Festival, and Marty Stuart made it even tougher to get some shut-eye with his eighth annual Late Night Jam, which featured Tanya Tucker, the Oak Ridge Boys, Connie Smith and a surprise appearance by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band's Jeff Hanna at the Ryman Auditorium on Wednesday night.
One of country's brightest ambassadors, Marty kept the music playing until after 2 a.m. in a show that mixed old hands and newcomers. Marty shared the stage with Tanya for a cover of Buck Owens' "Love's Gonna Live Here," he joined Jeff Hanna on "Mister Bojangles," and he combined voices with Connie on Buck's "Your Tender Loving Care."
The show marked the first Ryman a ppearance by Justin Moore, who sang his current Top 20 single "Small Town U.S.A.," and by the Martin Brothers, grandchildren of the Oaks' Duane Allen.
Riders In The Sky dusted off the Sons of the Pioneers classic "Cool Water," bluegrass act Cherryholmes shared an a cappella rendition of the gospel standard "Mary, Don't You Weep" and the Oaks — working without Joe Bonsall — chipped in "Elvira" and a remake of Jack White's "Seven Nation Army." Under orders to rest his vocal cords for three weeks, Joe was replaced as tenor by band member Jimmy Fulbright. Dierks Bentley also made a brief on-stage appearance, introducing Riders In The Sky.
The CMA Music Festival event marked the first time Tanya's performed publicly in two years, and she dug into the past to render her first hit, "Delta Dawn," and a cover of Charley Pride's "Is Anybody Goin' To San Antone." Tanya remembered her first visit to the Ryman — to see the Grand Ole Opry with her father in July 1967, when she was eight years old — and her own first appearance on the venerable radio show when she introduced herself to Connie.
"You need to be in the Country Music Hall of Fame, and it will happen," Marty told Tanya. "The folks from our generation, you were the first person to ever knock it across the fence and get us started."
The Late Night Jam, which played to an almost-full house, r aised money for three different charitable programs: MusiCares, Keep The Music Playing and the Country Music Hall of Fame.