Described by Rolling Stone as "pure Americana heart and soul" -The Bastard Sons of Johnny Cash are the voice and vision of songwriter Mark Stuart. Since forming the group in 1995, he's shared the stage with such notables as Merle Haggard, Buck Owens, Willie Nelson, George Jones, Lucinda Williams, and Steve Earle. He's built an international reputation as a skilled recording artist, producer, and tireless live performer. He was personally given permission to use the band's name by the "Man in Black" himself. Then Stuart and the band also received the additional endorsement of an invitation to record at Cash's home studio "The Cash Cabin" in Hendersonville, TN.
With the release of their debut cd "Walk Alone" in 1999, the Bastard Sons quickly proved they were a creative force on the forefront of the Alt. Country/Americana Music scene. No stranger to the road, their constant touring and hard work built the band a loyal grass roots following both in the States and abroad. Whether sharing his songs in front of thousands at one of Willie Nelson's Annual 4th of July picnics, or recording duets with Billy Bob Thornton in the Hollywood hills, for Stuart it's all about respect. "The Bastard Sons never were, and never will be, a Johnny Cash tribute band". "We've never tried to imitate anyone, it's always been about honoring the musical ideals of our heroes. Paying respect to the integrity, independence, and originality that made artists such as Cash, Willie, and Waylon who they are".
A passionate advocate of keeping the sounds and traditions of American Roots Music alive, Stuart has done his best to stretch their boundaries. Framing his stories in the lean bar room Honky-Tonk born in the Bakersfield dust, he adds elements of Western Swing, Tex Mex, Folk, Rock, and Bluegrass to create the Bastard Sons unique "Texacali" sound. His songs have been included on several European compilations focusing on the groundbreaking artists in the genre, including the well respected "Way Beyond Nashville", and "Beginners Guide to Americana". His music has recently found more exposure on the hit HBO television series True Blood.
The group has released five critically acclaimed cd's: "Walk Alone"-, 1999 "Distance Between"-2002, "Mile Markers"- 2005, "Road to Texacali"-2007 (Europe only) and "Bend in the Road"-2009. All have spent time at the top of the worldwide Roots Music Charts. They also have a Live DVD filmed while the band was on tour in Europe. Recorded at the historic Hunzigen Mill outside Bern, Switzerland.