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Photo by David McClister / Marty Stuart

As country music legends like George Jones, Johnny Cash and Merle Haggard pass on, country music purists often echo the question Jones asked: "Who's going to fill their shoes?"

The answer, in part, is Marty Stuart. Although he's too gracious to admit it, the Grammy-winning singer, songwriter and musician is country-music history. He's played alongside masters from Cash to Lester Flatt, been a worldwide ambassador for Nashville and safeguarded country's most valuable traditions and physical artifacts.

Stuart and his band, the Fabulous Superlatives, are in town for a show Thursday night, Feb. 6, in Walker Theatre. The chance to hear Stuart perform in that intimate setting is reason enough to purchase a ticket. But there is another incentive to go to the auditorium tonight, as well.

If you go

› What: Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives

› Where: Walker Theatre inside Memorial Auditorium, 399 McCallie Ave.

› When: 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 6

› Admission: $30 and $45

› For more information: 423-757-5580

Fans at Thursday's show will be among the first to see and purchase Stuart's new illustrated coffee-table book, "The Pilgrim: A Wall-to-Wall Odyssey," which will officially be released on Friday, Feb. 14.

The 11-inch by 10.5-inch tabletop book includes a CD that is a newly remastered version of the original release along with 10 bonus tracks. The book details the making of his 1999 record, "The Pilgrim," the album that reconnected Stuart with country music's rich traditions.

"'The Pilgrim' is an album that's close to my heart, and one that explores a true story of an unbelievable romance that unfolded in my hometown of Philadelphia, Mississippi, when I was a kid," Stuart says in a news release.

"The story that's told in 'The Pilgrim,' and my own story of how the project came to be and continues to shape me, makes my heart swell. When thinking about when I wanted to share this book with the wider world, I couldn't think of a better time than Valentine's Day."

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