Ricky Skaggs SOLO: SONGS MY DAD LOVED Skaggs Family Records 6989010092 Ricky Skaggs in reminiscent mode—and mighty fine too …
The title says it all. But the music and playing says a whole lot more. Noted bluegrass band leader, singer and multi-instrumentalist Skaggs revisits the songs he heard growing up at his father’s knee, and rather than dress them up in unnecessary modern arrangements he keeps them simple, unadorned and as natural as the spring water that tumbles down the Appalachian mountains.
He plays various acoustic and electric guitars, resonator guitar, mandolins, banjos, fiddles, piano, bass and percussion. Most of the songs will be well-known to long-time traditional country fans, and they might well ask ‘do we need another version of Little Maggie, Foggy River or This World Is Not My Home.’ Well, the simple answer is yes, because there’s a whole bunch of younger, newer listeners who have latched on to traditional music in recent years, and it’s via recordings like this that they can discover some of these old chestnuts. There’s also some lesser-known songs, some of which I was not overly familiar with—The City That Lies Foursquare and Green Pastures In the Sky. I had to smile as I listened to I Had But 50 Cents, the kind of song I’d not usually associate with Skaggs.
Throughout this album the picking is fleet, sensitive and incisive: his vocals and double-tracked harmonies astonishingly assured. Totally uncommercial, yet so full of heart and soul, this is an album I will find myself returning to time and time again. AC www.skaggsfamilyrecords.com www.maverick-country.com