Album Review: Country Hits: Bluegrass Style by Ricky Skaggs
Fairly Good, Based on 3 Critics
AllMusic - 70 Based on rating 7/10
Ricky Skaggs has reached a point in his career where he can pretty much do anything he wants to do musically. That’s the advantage of becoming an icon: what you do often isn’t as important as the fact that you’re still doing it. And Skaggs has already done plenty. A skilled instrumentalist on seemingly anything he touches (guitar, mandolin, fiddle, banjo) and possessing a soulful, lonesome tenor, Skaggs was a member of Ralph Stanley's legendary traditional bluegrass band (with Keith Whitley), took a turn at more progressive bluegrass with the Country Gentlemen and J.D.
Ricky Skaggs’ turn as a bluegrass musician has been well documented. He was only six years old when he played mandolin on stage with Bill Monroe and a year later he was on television picking with Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs. Since then he’s been a member of Ralph Stanley’s Cinch Mountain Boys, J.D. Crowe’s New South, and Emmylou Harris’ Hot band.
It’s pretty much an accepted fact that Ricky Skaggs is one of the most naturally gifted musicians to ever perform in the country, bluegrass and Christian arenas. Before he decided to abandon Music Row and play more meaningful music – i.e., more bluegrass – he had a string of radio hits in the 1980s that were usually good songs by some really good writers. So on Country Hits Bluegrass Style, Skaggs revisits some of those hits, with assistance from his bluegrass band Kentucky Thunder, members of his wife’s famous Gospel family The Whites, and others.