Thursday, June 23, 2011

"Country Hits: Bluegrass style" - Ricky Skaggs - A Review

Ricky Skaggs is an iconic bluegrass, acoustic musician. He is best playing his mandolin, a real hot player. He has made many a recording that I have enjoyed and has a great bluegrass band in Kentucky Thunder with Cody Kilby on Lead guitar. Kilby is a great player. He reminds me a bit of Tony Rice.

Skaggs has a label too with which he helps out other artists like the recently retired Cherryholmes Band after an excellent six CD career. I am sure that we will hear from members of this great group again.

This album has the feel of retro country music with a combo of bluegrass, country sound. Some of the songs are kind of hokey. I read No Depression's website, their idea of bluegrass is stuff like "Trampled By Turtles" (a group), and The Mumford Brothers. These are basically folk music with an acoustic jam band feel to the sound.

  This is the first CD I see of re released stuff by Skaggs. He usually is in to original music. A lot of releases are available today. Skaggs new recording sounds very good and there is some dynamite guitar and mandolin picking, along with some pedal steel. I am familiar with some of the songs, not all of them.

The Internet and the ease of digital recording ruined the music market. With vinyl there would not be an overflow of too much music. It's like The what The NFL would be with 50 teams. Vinyl pared down the recording process to only the best musicians and singers. You needed a good recording studio and a large budget. Lots of Major labels struggle because they can't sell CDs , because folk download them for free from the Internet. I read that last year, 95% of downloads were illegal. Fortunately, the good groups can make a good living by touring.

Lots of folk today, including younger folk like music from the 60s and 70s. I know myself, I buy a lot of music from that era today. The only new genre I really like is bluegrass and some country.

Ricky Skaggs is a class act and this is a good listen with plenty of great singing and guitar. It's just not new music, not a problem.

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