RICKY SKAGGS AND KENTUCKY THUNDER MUSIC TO MY EARS

RICKY SKAGGS AND KENTUCKY THUNDER
MUSIC TO MY EARS

Skaggs Family Records
6989010132

This latest release from Ricky Skaggs begins with a slow, relaxed, but punchy  version of “Blue Night,” followed by a rousing version of Don Stover’s  classic “Things In Life,”  with Ricky supplying some nice clawhammer banjo work. “You Can’t Hurt Ham” is a light-hearted Bill Monroe-inspired testimonial  to the claimed property (on this release, at least) that ham does not need refrigeration and will not expire (you might want to check with the FDA on this).  “Music To My Ears” is a compelling gospel song, “What Are You Waiting For” is a tune which  seems to lie on the border between country and pop and is something one might play as your twenty-year-old heads out the door to make their own life (Anything goes is gone for sure…), followed by Skaggs’ instrumental composition “New Jerusalem.” Barry, Ashley and Stephen Gibbs’ “Soldiers Son” seems to be a mix of plaintive military march and something off the Beatle’s Abbey Road record, with lots of effects,  and words that are a little on the oblique side—an interesting cut, but a bit hard to know what to make of it.  Bringing the proceedings solidly back to the traditional are “Tennessee Stud,”  performed as a tribute to Doc Watson, and a very nice version of Carter Stanley’s “Loving You Too Well.” Wrapping up the 11 cuts are the country-tinged “You Are Something Else,” a well-worded tribute to one’s nearest and dearest, and “Nothing Beats A Family.”

Among those helping out here are Barry Bales (bass), Cody Kilby (guitar), Andy Leftwich (fiddle), and Justin Moses (banjo, Weissenborn guitar). Gordon Kennedy  co-wrote four of the cuts and contributed on guitar and vocals.  And Ricky, never one to let everyone else do all the work, sings the leads, some harmony and background vocals, and plays eight different instruments.  This CD is nicely done, with a mix of styles and genres. (Skaggs Family Records, 200 Louise Ave., Hendersonville, TN 37077, www.skaggsfamilyrecords.com.)AW

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