After seeing a jazz photo exhibit, Stuart bought a camera and began to snap photos of those around him. "Country Music: The Masters" contains some of those photos throughout its 300 pages. Photos of fans and friends show the life Stuart grew up in. There are photos of rare concert posters, instruments and stage outfits taken using parts of Stuarts' massive country music memorabilia collection. There are also stately portraits of artists like Vern Gosdin, Merle Haggard, Connie Smith and many others, including the portrait of Johnny Cash, taken just four days before his death, that graces the cover.
Fans of country music history will find plenty to learn and reminisce about within the pages of "The Masters." Also included in the book is a 21-track CD to accompany the book. Three songs are instrumentals featuring Stuart on guitar or mandolin and one track is the only commercially available studio recording of Stuarts' tribute to Johnny Cash, Dark Bird. The remaining 17 tracks feature Stuart recounting the stories surrounding some of the photos and correspond to specific pages denoted with a small CD and track number symbol. It is a fantastic idea and is like sitting with Stuart as he personally guides you through the book telling great stories about his time spent with these country music legends.
This is strictly a book of photographs, so those looking to read stories about these masters must look elsewhere, but as the saying goes, "a picture is worth a thousand words," and here it is worth so much more.