Pine Bluff native to release first solo album

Mark Edgar Stuart, a Pine Bluff native, will release his first solo record, “Blues for Lou,” on Tuesday on Memphis’ Madjack Records.

Stuart is the son of Jacquelyn Layton Stuart and the late Galen Louie Stuart, whom the album is dedicated.

Stuart started his musical journey when he was 10 years old taking guitar lessons under the direction of Don Murtishaw at Ammons Music. Six years later he was teaching at the same studio. While a student at Pine Bluff High School, he played upright bass in the orchestra, Pine Bluff Symphony and the Arkansas Youth Orchestra.

Upon graduation, he moved to Memphis for a music scholarship with the University of Memphis but found his real passion in the city’s legendary nightlife music scene and has been an immutable presence ever since. For most of his career, he was the consummate sideman touring and playing bass with Alvin Youngblood Hart, John Paul Keith, Jack Oblivian and Cory Branan, which led to an appearance on “The Late Show with David Letterman” in 2003.

In recent years, after successfully battling through cancer and also enduring the loss of his father, he began writing. He made his Arkansas debut last summer at The Keith Sykes Songwriter Festival in Hot Springs, which featured John Prine.

Stuart’s 12-song CD will also be made available through iTunes and Amazon.