A Night Of Bluegrass with Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder

by Missy Wolf / 2473 days ago / Comments

For more than 50 years, Ricky Skaggs has had a love affair with music. This 15-time Grammy winner earned his first paycheck at age seven after performing with bluegrass legends Flatt & Scruggs on their widely viewed television show. From that moment, Skaggs' success soared leading him to also become the youngest person at the time to receive an invitation to join the Grand Ole Opry in 1982.

Known as "The Father of Bluegrass", Bill Monroe called six-year-old Skaggs up on stage during a performance and placed his mandolin around Skaggs' small neck making sure to adjust it.  That was a pivotal and life-changing moment for Skaggs.  From that moment on, Skaggs began to experience life as a popular musician.  By age 21, Skaggs was already viewed as a "recognized master" of Bluegrass. Although he started out with Bluegrass in his blood, Skaggs gained popularity and success while enjoying the versatility of his skills that enabled him to explore other genres of music.

As you can imagine, Skaggs has been able to achieve many credits during his music career. While I could spend an entire day writing about each of these accomplishments, the one that stands out to me the most was the decision to become an independent artist. Skaggs decided to get back to his roots of Bluegrass since his current recording contract was coming to an end. Forming his own label in 1997, Skaggs Family Records, Ricky Skaggs has released 12 consecutive Grammy-nominated albums. Of those albums, eight went on to earn the coveted Grammy Award. Those achievements are the result of hard work and his undeniable passion for creating music that fans will love for years to come.

After seeing Skaggs and the excitement that surrounded him backstage at the Grand Ole Opry in early 2017, I knew that I needed to see him perform live. After receiving a press release that he was to headline night 6 of Bluegrass Nights at the Ryman, I immediately put in a request to cover the artist that caught the eyes of many as a child.  To my surprise and pure delight, that request was granted.

Joining Skaggs on stage at the Ryman was Kentucky Thunder.  I had no idea the amount of talent I was about to hear. Paul Brewster (tenor vocals, rhythm guitar), Scott Mulvahill (bass, bass vocals), Russ Carson (banjo), Jake Workman (lead guitar), Mike Barnett (fiddle) and Dennis Parker (baritone vocals, guitar), all delivered a stunning quality of music that blended seamlessly with Skaggs picking and vocals. Their attire, stance, expressions, and overall talent led to one of the most fantastic shows anyone has ever seen. Complete with special guest pianist Buck White and his hilarious grand entrance, I did not think it could get any better.

Much to my surprise, Skaggs brought me to tears. While he shared funny and personal stories of his beautiful relationship with his mother, it was the song she loved to hear him sing that made my eyes leak uncontrollably. I tried to act as though I was not crying, however, it looked as if a fire hydrant has just exploded on the side of the road. My eyes had burst with tears. Singing "Mother's Only Sleeping" flooded my soul with heartbreak and fond memories of my late grandmother. While I had no idea going into this concert that I would be overcome with raw emotion, I cannot express to Skaggs enough how much that moment meant to me. 

Skaggs has definitely mastered the art of music, performances, and all that goes with being in the music industry. From writing and singing to playing and collaborating, Skaggs seems to have it all dialed in perfectly. One thing that I look for as a journalist is the entertainer's relationship with fans, and those they choose to represent them. From what I have seen and experienced for myself, Skaggs has definitely made sure that he is in great hands and that the fans are happy. 

If you have not yet seen Skaggs perform live, I encourage you to do so. Check out his website for the latest show information and do not forget to browse through his amazing catalog and pick up some of the greatest music you will ever hear. ~Missy


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Ricky Skaggs Tour Dates

05/18/2024 : Grand Ole Opry House: Nashville, TN
05/25/2024 : Tony Rice Memorial Day Music F: Elon, NC
06/07/2024 : Concerts in the Park: Ricky Sk: Stephenville, TX
06/08/2024 : Red River Station: Saint Jo, TX
06/13/2024 : Stone Mountain Arts Center: Brownfield, ME
06/14/2024 : The Colonial Theatre: Keene, NH
06/15/2024 : American Music Theatre: Lancaster, PA
06/16/2024 : Sellersville Theater: Sellersville, PA
06/16/2024 : Sellersville Theater: Sellersville, PA
06/22/2024 : The Kenley Amphitheater: Layton, UT
07/08/2024 : The Lodge and Spa at Three For: Savery, WY
07/09/2024 : Arvada Center for the Arts and: Arvada, CO
07/10/2024 : Pikes Peak Center: Colorado Springs, CO
07/20/2024 : Ohio Valley Opry: Mcconnelsville, OH
07/20/2024 : Ohio Valley Opry: Mcconnelsville, OH
07/25/2024 : Ryman Auditorium: Nashville, TN
07/27/2024 : Grand Ole Opry House: Nashville, TN
07/31/2024 : Freeborn County Fairgrounds: Albert Lea, MN
08/01/2024 : Big Top Chautauqua - Concert V: Bayfield, WI
08/02/2024 : Door Community Auditorium: Fish Creek, WI
08/03/2024 : Arcada Theatre: St Charles, IL
08/21/2024 : Spencer Theater For The Perfor: Alto, NM
08/22/2024 : Spencer Theater For The Perfor: Alto, NM
08/24/2024 : 2024 Heritage Event - Heritage: Florence, AL
09/06/2024 : Blue Gate Performing Arts Cent: Shipshewana, IN
09/19/2024 : Dailey & Vincent's American Ma: Hiawassee, GA
09/28/2024 : Wildwood Springs Lodge: Steelville, MO
10/25/2024 : Brauntex Performing Arts Theat: New Braunfels, TX
10/26/2024 : Dosey Doe Big Barn: The Woodlands, TX
12/05/2024 : Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunde: Tucson, AZ
12/06/2024 : Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunde: Scottsdale, AZ

About Missy Wolf

Missy Wolf Co-Founder, Editor, Journalist & Vice President of the American Country Music Association

From an early age I knew music and entertainment were in my blood. I have always been enamored with the idea of being in this industry, though I never wanted to be a front and center "Star". Taking the audience behind the scenes for up close conversations with the artists they love is where I want to be. Life in lyrics has always been my style, so as my favorite country artist Wade Hayes sings, I am living my life and chasing my dreams! Conducting interviews, meeting talented people and sharing stories and adventure are my passion. My new favorite hashtag is #iaskyouanswer, so stay tuned for more interviews, articles and adventures!