Marty Stuart has announced the digital album Songs I Sing in the Dark, a collection of 20 acoustic numbers that he’ll debut on a monthly basis. The first installment is Stuart’s version of “Ready for the Times to Get Better” and, as the Country Music Hall of Fame member explains in a new video, it embodies the spirit of this new project through the comfort it gave him during the last year of confinement.
“Songs are like magic carpets — they can transport you from wherever you are to somewhere we want to be,” he says, setting up the new recording. “And I think this last year, we probably all agree, we wanted to be somewhere else. Anywhere but reality, right? We’ve all been shackled to the same problem.”
Songwriter Allen Reynolds penned “Ready for the Times to Get Better” and it was originally cut by Crystal Gayle for the 1976 album Crystal. It went on to become a Number One country hit for the singer.
Stuart’s version is stripped down to its basics of vocals and guitar. “It’s been a too long time, with no peace of mind, and I’m ready for the times to get better,” he sings in the chorus, the somber minor-key melody adding to the sense of melancholy and an intricate fingerpicked solo showing off Stuart’s formidable instrumental talents.
Stuart promises a wide variety of selections on the project and the track list reveals chestnuts like “Skip a Rope” and “Orange Blossom Special” alongside compositions by Merle Haggard and Waylon Jennings. “I have a long line of songs that range from obscure, originals, to old favorites from various musical worlds that I often sing to myself when I’m alone,” he said in a release.
Songs I Sing in the Dark track list:
- “Skip a Rope” (Jack Moran, Glenn Douglas Tubb)
- “Matches” (Charles F. Craig, Keith Stegall)
- “Heartbreak Kind” (Marty Stuart, Paul Kennerley)
- “I Can’t Hold Myself in Line” (Merle Haggard)
- “Six White Horses” (Larry Murray)
- “Fault Lines” (Mike Campbell, Tom Petty)
- “Padre / The Wall” (Marty Stuart, Harlan Howard)
- “Born to Run” (Paul Kennerley)
- “Poor Side of Town” (Lou Adler, Johnny Rivers)
- “The Sun Don’t Shine No More” (Marty Stuart)
- “Orange Blossom Special” (Ervin T. Rouse)
- “Sow ‘Em on the Mountain” (A.P. Carter)
- “Honky Tonk” (Marty Stuart)
- “I’ll Cry Tomorrow” (Marty Stuart)
- “I Never Picked Cotton” (Bobby George, Charlie Williams)
- “One in a Row” (Willie Nelson)
- “Ready for the Times to Get Better” (Allen Reynolds)
- “Space Cowboy” (Steve Miller, Ben Sidran)
- “This Time” (Waylon Jennings)
- “Till I Get It Right” (Hollis Rudolph DeLaughter, Larry Henley)