Friday, September 04, 2015

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder

Artist:Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder
Song:Little Maggie
Album:Bluegrass Rules!

Ricky Skaggs was one of the biggest country music stars of the 80s. He had 12 #1 country hits. When country music changed in the 90s, the hits stopped coming. But Skaggs returned to his bluegrass roots and he continues to to that today. The 1997 CD Bluegrass Rules! was Skaggs first album with his current band Kentucky Thunder. Skaggs' final number one country hit was Lovin' Only Me in 1989. Ironically the album title was Kentucky Thunder. After one more album on Epic Records, they dropped him. Clearly country music was changing and Skaggs was going to have to change his sound to remain at the top of the charts. After two unsuccessful albums on Atlantic Records, Skaggs decided to form a new band Kentucky Thunder and start his own label Skaggs Family Records with Rounder Records distribution. Bluegrass Rules! was the first album with this new band in 1997. They are doing all bluegrass standards including the Ralph Stanley song Little Maggie. Musicians include veteran session guitarist Bryan Sutton, Bobby Hicks on fiddle, guitarist Dennis Parker, guitarist Paul Brewster, Marc Pruett on banjo and Mark Fain on bass. Brewster is the mainstay of this band as he is still in the band today. Jerry Douglas made a guest appearance on dobro. The album did very well and it even won a Best Bluegrass Album Grammy. So not only was Skaggs on the right track by returning to his bluegrass roots but it was the kind of music he preferred to perform anyway. Since then Skaggs has recorded several Kentucky Thunder albums. The latest was Music To My Ears in 2012. His latest CD Hearts Like Ours with Sharon White of The Whites was released last year. They have been married since 1981. Skaggs also published his autobiography Aug. 2015. He is currently on tour. So Ricky Skaggs may not be a mainstream country music star anymore. But I have a feeling Skaggs and his fans prefer his current bluegrass albums. Here's Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder performing Little Maggie on TNN's Prime Time Country 1997.

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