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Ricky Skaggs

Ricky Skaggs Solo (Songs My Dad Loved) – 2009 (Skaggs Family)

Reviewed by Larry Stephens

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CDs by Ricky Skaggs

It's sparse and on the eclectic side. There's no one on the CD but Ricky Skaggs playing a bevy of instruments from a gut string fretless banjo to a piano to an Ernie Ball bass. While the bluegrass community frowns on percussion and electric guitars, this is still the most likely audience for this project. This is a display of the music Skaggs' father loved and it harkens back to the '50s and before. Many songs are one voice (he's overdubbed harmonies on a few), and that adds to the simple feel - a link back to the music of the near-World War II era.

The songs are varied. I Had But 50 Cents is a playful ditty, while he could be channeling Merle Travis on Foggy River. There are instrumentals (Colonel Prentiss and Calloway, which brings back memories of barn dances), standards (Little Maggie) and several gospel numbers, including a beautifully rendered Green Pastures In The Sky.

This is not your typical Skaggs but it's good listening and hard to put away on the shelf.